Ninth Gang Suspect Arrested in Anti-Gay NYC Beatings
Ruddy Vargas-Perez is still wanted by police for ties with Bronx gang that allegedly sodomized and tortured several men. [NYPD]
New York Daily News via YellowBrix
October 12, 2010
BRONX, NY – The ninth and last member of the sadistic Bronx crew accused of torturing a man and two teens because they were gay was finally in custody Monday, police said.
Cops said they captured Ruddy Vargas-Perez, 22, in a 10th-floor hallway of an apartment building on Richman Plaza in the Bronx just before 5 p.m.
Vargas-Perez, who does not live in the building, was being questioned by detectives last night. He had not yet been charged. His eight buddies in the so-called Latin King Goonies were arrested last week and are behind bars.
Police said they had been hunting Vargas-Perez since he skipped out on a deal to surrender Friday.
His lawyers challenged the police version of events, saying Vargas-Perez is innocent and “voluntarily” surrendered at the NYPD’s 41st Precinct stationhouse.
Lawyer Robert Georges said he spoke to detectives on Friday – the day police revealed the heinous crime spree – and brokered the deal for Vargas-Perez to surrender today. He said he had his client turn himself in early after seeing him portrayed as a fugitive.
“He was never on the run. He was never a fugitive,” Georges said.
Police officials say Vargas-Perez is the final suspect in the cruel, homophobic crime spree that turned a vacant, three-story house on Osborne Place in Morris Heights into a torture chamber.
The crew is charged with orchestrating a reign of terror during which they sodomized a 17-year-old fledging member of the gang and his 30-year-old lover with wooden objects.
A third 17-year-old was also beaten and tortured for hours, and the brother of one victim was robbed and left tied up with enough tape on his face to suffocate him.
“The perpetrators of the abuse and terror in the Bronx will be spared no mercy,” Mayor Bloomberg said last night in a speech to Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a gay rights advocacy group.
“Let me be clear, these incidents are completely unacceptable. They are intolerable in a city in which tolerance is what defines us,” Bloomberg said.
Police announced the arrests of seven members of the gang – including suspected 23-year-old ringleader Ildefonso (Cheto) Mendez – on Friday.
An eighth member, Elmer (Macho) Confresi, 23, surrendered Saturday.
The eight toughs were arraigned Sunday on a slew of charges, including gang assault, sexual assault, robbery, weapons possession and hate crimes.
The gang assault count alone is enough to put them away for 25 years if convicted.
Georges said Vargas-Perez is not a gang member and had no involvement in the torture fest.
“He’s just as outraged as everyone else over the incident,” the lawyer argued. “He’s going to testify that he had no involvement.”