Thursday, January 20, 2005
Satanist is victim of bias attack.
A proud Church of Satan member got a hellish beating during an alleged bias attack in Queens, authorities said yesterday.Now, once you extend legal protection against bias-motivated crimes to one group you have to extend it to other self-identified groups or, well, you are biased.
Daniel Romano, 20, of Elmhurst, was walking back from a laundry near his home on Sunday when three men drove past him and yelled "Hey, Satan!" The group leaped out of the car and jumped Romano in front of 6001 72nd Street shortly after 2 p.m., police sources said.
Romano — who dyes his hair blue, wears black nail polish and displays an upside-down crucifix at his throat — was punched, kicked and struck in the head with an ice scraper and a plumbing pipe, according to the complaint and law-enforcement sources.
A couple of months ago, Romano, who is in the process of becoming an ordained minister, had boasted to the trio that he was a devil worshipper and belonged to the Church of Satan, police sources said...
Later that night, detectives from the Hate Crimes Squad, believing Romano was targeted because of his religious beliefs, busted two suspects: Paul Rotondi, 18, of Howard Beach, Queens, and Frank Scarpinito, 18, of Ridgewood, Queens.
Rotondi and Scarpinito pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second degree aggravated harassment and second degree assault as a hate crime, which carries a stiffer penalty than a traditional assault charge...
Suppose a person gets beaten up solely because he's a Communist. It's perfectly legal to have the beliefs of a Communist in this country. Even of the Stalinist variety. So that would seem a bias-motivated crime. And if it's so with a Stalinist why wouldn't it be so with, say, a Neo-Nazi?
I'm waiting to read the Post headline: