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2nd suspect arrested in gay hate crime

October 14, 2009 2:50:01 PM PDT
Daniel Rodriguez tried to get away, but couldn't escape the reach of New York detectives. They retrieved the 21 year old from Norfolk, Virginia where they say he'd been holed up with family since the savage beating of 49 year old Jack Price late last week.

Eyewitness News was the first to show you the astonishing video that police say shows Rodriguez and 26 year old Daniel Aleman pummeling the openly gay man nearly to death, shattering his jaw, collapsing both his lungs, and lacerating his spleen.

For days, Price was in a coma, and then he was on a respirator and couldn't talk. Eyewitness News has learned he wrote the anti-gay words his attackers were shouting as they beat him. That's why Queens District Attorney Richard Brown will prosecute this incident as a hate crime.

"This is probably the most vicious and brutal incident that I've seen, captured as it was on videotape," Brown said.

Adding insult to devastating injury, Brown says after the beating, it was Daniel Rodriguez who stole Price's wallet and later spent his ten dollars to buy some drinks.

We tracked down some of Rodriguez's friends and family, including Marcel Gelmi who has this biblical quote tattooed on his shoulder:

"Leviticus. You should not lay with a man as one does with a woman. It's an abomination."

He claims this was not a hate crime. Gelmi said that price had propositioned men in the neighborhood, and even had blown his assailants a kiss.

That, Gelmi says, is reason enough for what he called a "beat down."

"I mean I don't want no man blowing me a kiss either. I mean things happen," he explained. "I've been beat up like that too, but you don't see me on the news and my family crying and this and that. Wounds heal."

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