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Were these just teens making bad decisions or was this a hate crime?

Posted by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM
  • 51 Replies

10 Black Teens Brutally Beat Up White Couple in Hate-Filled Attack

by Lisa Fogarty

How many times have you been stopped at a red light that turned green and have become frustrated by a pedestrian taking his time to cross the road? If you live in a city, it's something that happens on almost a daily basis. Chances are, you take a deep breath and leave it well enough alone. Or maybe you honk once and get a dirty look in return. Well, for one couple in Brooklyn, their reaction to this same situation made them victims of a brutal attack and has put them in the center of what some are calling a racial hate crime.

Ronald and Alana Russo, who are Caucasian, were driving by a popular mall in Brooklyn on an early Monday evening when they stopped at a traffic light. As the light turned green, a group of 10 African American teens, whose ages ranged from 12 to 18, were reportedly crossing the street. Because he figured he had the right of way, Ronald honked his horn, which reportedly spurred the teens to begin kicking the couple's car.

Ronald got out to assess the damage to the car -- a bold, but not totally crazy thing to do, particularly when you figure you're dealing with kids and what's the worst that can happen -- and then the worst happened. The teens punched and kicked Ronald in the head, leaving him with a fractured nose, broken septum, blood clot, and damage to his shoulder. They also reportedly called him a "white motherf****r" and shouted, "Get those crackers!" and "Get that white whore." 

Not content to just brutally beat the man, his wife -- who was attempting to call 911 -- was dragged to the ground by the 12-year-old. Her head was slammed against the pavement and she suffered a black eye, bleeding, and difficulty breathing. Since the incident, four teens, including the 12-year-old, have been arrested and police are still searching for other suspects. 

What terrifies me about this story, other than the fact that I still think of tweens as children who play with dolls and could never do anything like this, is that the couple wasn't in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were trying to get through a green light. They did something as harmless as honking a horn. Where did this anger come from and why direct it toward the couple at that time?

The fact that they beat the couple doesn't make it a hate crime, it just makes it a heinous, disgusting crime. But their racial slurs definitely, absolutely make this a hate crime, and I don't feel anyone will benefit from it being labeled as anything but. 

What do you think? Were these just teens making bad decisions or was this a hate crime?

by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 11:59 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Mommy4000
by Ray of sunshine on Oct. 21, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Because they allegedly used the comments they did, I would classify that as a hate crime, if not, then I wouldn't, but rather just another fight fueled by road rage. I'm pretty sure that pedestrians always have the right of way, but could be wrong. It's unfortunate that the guy behind the wheel couldn't have just used a little patience. I get sick to death myself of the impatient "I'm in a hurry to get nowhere fast" kind of drivers, however the individuals that assaulted him, were definitely wrong and should be held accountable for their actions.

motha2daDuchess
by Bruja on Oct. 21, 2013 at 12:09 PM
2 moms liked this
if it happened BECAUSE they were white, that is a hate crime..if it happened and the people just happen to be white it isn't...there was absolutely hate speech used....
candlegal
by Judy on Oct. 21, 2013 at 12:18 PM
1 mom liked this

I think it doesn't matter.   If it was white kids beating up on black kids, it would have been a hate crime, no matter what.

furbabymum
by Gold Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 12:25 PM
1 mom liked this

 I want to know why kids are behaving like this? Someone needs better parents at home! Hell, maybe Futureshock has a point with all her rants people.

lizzielouaf
by Gold Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 12:31 PM
3 moms liked this

Obvious I don't know if it had been a black couple if the kids would have done the same thing but based on what they allegedly said, it appears to be further escalated by the fact the couple is white. 

ReadWriteLuv
by Silver Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 12:58 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't think it was a hate crime, I think it was a hate-ful crime. Remind me never to honk my horn in New York. In fact, remind me never to go to New York, period. 

candlegal
by Judy on Oct. 21, 2013 at 1:08 PM
2 moms liked this

There are also I am in a hurry to get nowhere fast pedestrians.   Have you ever had to wait on them?   I have.  Their attitude is I can take my time and you can't do a thing about it. 

Quoting Mommy4000:

Because they allegedly used the comments they did, I would classify that as a hate crime, if not, then I wouldn't, but rather just another fight fueled by road rage. I'm pretty sure that pedestrians always have the right of way, but could be wrong. It's unfortunate that the guy behind the wheel couldn't have just used a little patience. I get sick to death myself of the impatient "I'm in a hurry to get nowhere fast" kind of drivers, however the individuals that assaulted him, were definitely wrong and should be held accountable for their actions.


tanyainmizzou
by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM
2 moms liked this

It is a hate crime by the definition.


However, I think hate crime laws are stupid and these animals just need to be locked up for a long time.

KenneMaw
by Bronze Member on Oct. 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM
2 moms liked this

when they started using the words 'white', 'cracker', etc...it became a hate crime.  plain and simple to me.  it drives me NUTS when people cross on a green light and they stroll like they have all day.   yes, the pedestrian has the right away, but not the right be a total jackass.     Had the situation been reversed, everyone from Obama to Jesse Jackson would have been using the race card, so why can't this white couple use it?????

T-HoneyLuv
by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 1:11 PM
1 mom liked this
They certainly don't represent all of us here in Brooklyn. :)


Quoting ReadWriteLuv:

I don't think it was a hate crime, I think it was a hate-ful crime. Remind me never to honk my horn in New York. In fact, remind me never to go to New York, period. 


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