Charges Dropped Against 4th Suspect in Bronx Bias Attack

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    A police vehicle secures the abandoned home that served as a clubhouse, and allegedly a torture chamber, for a street gang accused of trapping and brutalizing three gay men is seen, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/David Karp)

    Prosecutors in the Bronx today dropped charges against a fourth suspect accused in connection with a violent anti-gay hate crime on two teenagers and a 30-year-old man in the Bronx, according to a published report.

    Dennis Piters, 17, was released today, the Bronx District Attorney's office said. He was freed a day after three other suspects were released because prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to charge them. Steven Carabello, Bryan Almonte and Brian Cepeda had been charged with robbery, gang assault and unlawful imprisonment.

    Meantime, Bronx D.A. Robert T. Johnson announced today that a grand jury has indicted another three defendants, Jose Dominguez, 22, Idelfonso Mendez, 23, and David Rivera, 21, on charges of gang assault and other offenses in connection with the alleged bias attack

    Six suspects remain in jail following the brutal Oct. 3 attack inside a Bronx home.

    Authorities say the attacks were touched off because gang members thought one of their recruits was gay. A 17-year-old was beaten and sodomized with a plunger handle, police say. Another 17-year-old also thought to be gay was attacked, and a 30-year-old and his brother were beaten as well.

    Cops rounded up nearly a dozen suspects -- allegedly members of a gang which calls itself the Latin King Goonies, and suspects ranged in age from 16 to 23.  The men faced charges that include unlawful imprisonment, assault and robbery, all as hate crimes.

    The 17-year-old was beaten and sodomized until he confessed to his involvement with the older man, authorities said. The mob later went after the 30-year-old, luring him to an abandoned apartment they used for partying, where they tied him to a chair and assaulted him, police said.

    Another 17-year-old was also attacked because it was believed he, too, had an encounter with the man. The older man's brother was also attacked after gang members went to their shared apartment and stole cash and a TV, police said.