Teen allegedly beats, chokes stranger in NJ park because he thought he was gay

New Jersey

File photo of police lights. (Getty Images)

NORTH BERGEN, NJ — A teenager allegedly beat and choked a stranger in a New Jersey park because he suspected the victim was gay, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Police arrested José Tobias Carranza Serrano, an 18-year-old Baltimore resident, on June 23, one day after the alleged attack at North Hudson Park. He was charged with attempted homicide, bias intimidation, robbery and aggravated assault, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.

“This defendant is charged with attempting to kill a complete stranger because he thought the man was gay,” Grewal said. “The victim was beaten and choked so badly that he was unconscious for several hours before a passerby found him and called for help.”

Carranza Serrano allegedly punched and kicked the victim, causing multiple fractures and knocking out several teeth. He also allegedly took the victim’s phone and $8 in cash before leaving.

“Whether this type of hate-fueled violence is directed against the LGBTQ+ community or other groups, it is terribly destructive to society and we must push back against it in every way possible,” Grewal said.

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