Michael Sandy Clings to Life; Men Charged with Hate Crimes

John_foxMichael Sandy, the Brooklyn man who was attacked Sunday night by four men who found him on a gay internet site and lured him to a parking lot off the belt parkway known to be a cruising spot for gay men, continues to survive in a vegetative state at Brookdale hospital as relatives struggle with the question of whether or not to take him off life support.

Meanwhile, three Brooklyn men — John Fox, 19, Gary Timmins, 16, and Ilye Shurova, 20 — were charged with first-degree assault as a hate crime, and first- and second-degree robbery, also as hate crimes at the 61st Precenct Station House yesterday. When asked why the case was being treated as a hate crime, the police responded, “Because of the totality of the evolution of the crime.”

Fortunato, 20, was still being questioned.

As Fox (pictured above) was led from the station, his father yelled “I care about you” and later told reporters, “I can’t see him doing anything like this. He never did anything like that before, so why would he be rabidly anti-gay?”

Beltpkwy_2The driver of the car that hit Michael Sandy and fled the scene is still at large.

Meanwhile, across town, friends and family of Sandy grieved. Said his friend Nick Perdescu: “He’s one of the sweetest people in the world – he did not deserve this. He has brought immense joy, and for something like this to happen to him, it’s unbelievable in this day and age.”

The Times reports that the family wanted to wait “until at least today” to make the decision to pull the plug on Michael Sandy’s life support.

Today is Michael Sandy’s 29th birthday.

‘Gay Bash’ Hate Charges [ny post]
3 Charged in Hate Crimes; Brooklyn Victim Is in a Coma [nyt]

Four Arrested: Attack on Michael Sandy was Internet Set-up [tr]
Gay New York Man Critically Injured After Attack, Hit-and-Run [tr]