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Hate crimes are nothing new in Danbury

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Time: 1:06 PM

As someone who's been following xenophobia and racial tensions in Danbury,
this story is not shocking because people have long complained about hate crimes such as this for years.
City police arrested four suspects Tuesday morning for an alleged bias attack on two Mexican men last month that a witness videotaped on his iPhone.

Police said the four suspects, three of them brothers from Bethel and the fourth, a Danbury resident who cleans the city police station, shouted racial slurs as they beat and robbed the victims in a Balmforth Avenue parking lot in the early morning hours of Oct. 10.

The assault was filmed by a resident of a nearby apartment building, who also recited the license plate of the suspects' car into the phone as they drove away, police said.

Johnny Alicea-Cintron of 23 Woodside Ave., Danbury; and brothers Richard Dinh, 18; Truong Jason Dinh, 22; and John Dinh, 22, all of Knollwood Drive, Bethel, were taken into custody Tuesday morning and charged with two counts of attempted robbery, first-degree assault, conspiracy, and intimidation based on race.

The three Dinh brothers are Asian, and Alicea-Cintron, who works for the company that cleans the police station, is Puerto Rican, police said.

Police said the four "planned and discussed the attack" in advance, "creating the conspiracy."

The victims, both 32, suffered head injuries that included a concussion and a damaged eye socket. One of them would have been run over if the other hadn't dragged him out of the way as the attackers drove off, police said.

The witness, who lives in a second-floor apartment overlooking the parking lot, told police he was watching television shortly after 2 a.m. when he was startled by screams from outside the apartment. He looked out the window and saw four men "punching and kicking the victims."

The witness yelled at the attackers, warning that he was taping them and they would be arrested, but they continued to beat the two men. Then one of the attackers went through one of the victim's pockets, police said.

[...]

Police traced the vehicle to Alicea-Cintron's mother. Alicea-Cintron told investigators that one of the victims had been hassling him and his three friends in an Ives Street bar earlier in the evening, and when he stopped his car to relieve himself in the Balmforth Avenue parking lot, the same man showed up and took a swing at him.

The two victims had been out drinking before the attack. They said after leaving the last bar they were surrounded by a group of men who yelled at them and began beating them.

Again, people in the immigrant community have LONG complained about hate crimes such as this incident. People in the immigrant community are targeted for a variety of reasons including the notion that immigrants carry around large sums of money out of fear of opening a bank account.

Whether it's because of money, or blind hatred for another race, when you target a particular group of people based upon race, it's a hate-crime.

There are numerous incidents in which members of Elise Marciano's anti-immigrant hate group were directly linked to public harassment and threats against members of the immigrant community. Anyone who viewed the comment section of the old News-Times, watched the lunatics on a variety of local access shows, or witnessed the bigots in action at public forums should not be surprised over this hate-crime.

...what you should be concerned with is the number of hate-crimes that go unreported in Danbury.




RELATED STORY:

Danbury police expect arrests in Balmforth Avenue assault, robbery

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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

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