Man, 18, indicted for brutal gay bashing in North Bergen, NJ park
An 18-year-old man accused of a brutal gay bias attack against a man, beating and choking him unconscious in a North Bergen park in June, has been indicted on attempted murder and other charges.
José Tobias Carranza Serrano, of Baltimore, Maryland, who also goes by “Kevin Lopez,” faces first-degree counts of attempted murder, bias intimidation and robbery, as well as second-degree aggravated assault.
After initially being picked up for trespassing, Carranza Serrano told Bayonne Police he thought he had murdered the man, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
He also told police he had lured the man, whose identity has not been released, into a dark, wooded area in North Hudson Park the night of June 21 with the intent to kill him.
Carranza Serrano punched and kicked the man repeatedly in the face, Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck said.
The man suffered broken bones and lost teeth, had his eyes gouged and was strangled briefly before being left near a path where he was found early the next morning by a passerby, Bruck said.
His injuries caused a potentially life-threatening condition (rhabdomyolysis), prompting the staff at Hackensack Medical Center to intubate him, according to the affidavit.
Carranza Serrano also took the victim’s cell phone and eight dollars cash before leaving him, prosecutors said.
“We will not tolerate violence targeting the LGBTQ+ community,” Bruck said in a written statement.
“There is simply no excuse for this type of hate, and we will ensure that those who engage in violence are held fully accountable for their actions.”
As of Thursday, Carranza Serrano was being held in Hudson County jail, pending trial.