The court case against four Oceanside men charged with a hate crime and gang assault after allegedly beating two men on Deer Park Avenue in Babylon Village earlier this past summer has been adjourned until December 6.
The four men – Gregory Gilbert, 20; Shane Buckley, 18; Nicholas Battaglia, 18; and Justin Buckley, 17, all from Oceanside – were walking on Deer Park Avenue near the Park Avenue Laundromat at around 3:30 a.m. on July 23 when the group asked two men for directions to the Long Island Rail Road station, Suffolk County Police told Patch in July.
Words were reportedly exchanged between the two groups, including homophobic slurs before it broke out into a brawl.
“The four assailants started yelling anti-gay slurs, crossed the street and attacked them,” Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Lawrence Opisso said, according to the Long Island Herald.
Gilbert, Battaglia and Shane Buckley were all charged with two counts of Assault in the Third Degree as a Hate Crime and Gang Assault in the Second Degree. Justin Buckley was charged with two counts of Assault in the Third Degree as a Hate Crime.
Family members and friends of the Oceanside men said they do not believe the charges, stating that prosecutors were blowing a case of "boys being boys" out proportion.
Opisso noted in court that blood was found Shane Buckley's sneaker and more serious charges could be coming.
The assistance district attorney also tried to set bail at $100,000 cash or $50,000 bond, but both the defendents' lawyer and judge said the number was too high due to the boys' lack of previous criminal records and only set bail at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.
The lawyer for one of the attack men who suffered a broken nose, Ronkonkoma attorney Anthony Ciaccio, said his client is not gay and was "attacked for no reason."