NEW YORK (AP) – A second suspect was jailed without bail Friday for his alleged role in a racially motivated baseball bat beating that critically injured a black man on the streets of a predominantly white Queens neighborhood.

Anthony Ench, 21, a Howard Beach resident, was the second suspect denied bail in the Wednesday morning assault that raised memories of the 1986 incident that left a black man dead at the hands of a marauding white gang.

The burly defendant was arraigned on charges of assault as a hate crime and robbery as a hate crime, and faced a possible sentence of 25 years in prison if convicted. The hate crime designation means his minimum sentence would be eight years, as opposed to the usual five on those charges.

Another suspect, 19-year-old Nicholas Minucci, faced the same possible sentence following his arraignment a day earlier. A third man, described as a witness to the crime, surrendered to police on Thursday. Frank Agostini, 20, is the son of a city police detective.

A law enforcement source told The Associated Press that Minucci was involved in a previous bias incident in the hours after the World Trade Center attacks, when he allegedly shot paintballs at several worshippers exiting the Sikh Cultural Center in Queens.

Minucci’s conviction as a juvenile was overturned on appeal, according to the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because records were sealed in the Family Court case.

The short, stocky teen also pleaded guilty to assault after allegedly stabbing another youth during a 2002 fight, the source said.

According to authorities, Minucci and Ench allegedly attacked 22-year-old Glenn Moore with a baseball bat around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, shouting racial epithets as they beat him and stole his sneakers.

“That is what you get when you try to rob white boys,” the pair allegedly told the battered victim.

Moore remained in critical condition Friday at Jamaica Hospital.

Moore walked into Howard Beach with two friends, including one who later told police that he planned to steal a car. The friend said Moore was unaware of the plan, officials said.

After Ench’s court appearance, the Rev. Al Sharpton and other black leaders met with representatives of the Howard Beach community to discuss the incident. U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks of Queens said the two sides shared “an honest and open and frank discussion.”

“The difference between 1986 and 2005 is there are more people out supporting the idea of “Let’s come together,”‘ said Meeks.

In the December 1986 attack, 23-year-old Michael Griffiths was struck and killed by a car as he fled a gang of white attackers from the Queens neighborhood. One of the two other black men with him was beaten with a bat in that incident.

AP-ES-07-01-05 1804EDT


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.