Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
Two Charged in Election Night Assault
Sunday, November 16, 2008
New York, NY –
Two Staten Island men have been charged with hate-crimes after allegedly beating a young African man in the hours following Barack Obama's election. The Staten Island District Attorney claims the two assaulted the victim Ali Kamara with a pipe and baton because they wanted to take out their frustration with the election results. William Smith is a spokesman for the District Attorney's office.
SMITH: At this point, we believe that these individuals set out deliberately to encounter African-Americans, and Mr. Kamara happened to be one of the people they came across in that path.
REPORTER: The two men are Ralph Nickoletti and Bryan Garaventa. Both are 18 and have been charged with assault in the second degree as a hate-crime and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. The two face three-and-a-half to 15 years in jail. The attorney for Nickoletti, Nancy Bartling, denied the charges.