[Hpn] Teenager Says Homeless Man Was Killed for No Reason

chance martin streetsheet@sf-homeless-coalition.org
Wed, 27 Jun 2001 15:38:46 -0700

New York Times
June 27, 2001

Teenager Says Homeless Man Was Killed for No Reason

PATERSON, N.J., June 26 (AP)  One of a group of teenagers charged with
killing a homeless man on a Paterson street last week has told investigators
that they kicked and beat the man "for no reason."

Then, some of the boys went swimming before heading downtown to do some
shopping, said investigators who read from the boys' statements in court
today. The 11 defendants appeared in Family Court before Judge Nestor F.
Guzman, who determined there was enough evidence to continue to hold them on
robbery and murder charges in the Passaic County Juvenile Detention Center.

Detectives from the prosecutor's office and the Paterson police testified
that the youths had given statements implicating one another and, in a few
instances, themselves, in the assaults that led to the death last Wednesday
of Hector Robles, 42.

"I am sorry that a man had to die today because people wanted a fight today,
but no one wanted to kill anyone, that's for sure," investigators said one
of the boys told them.

Several of the boys' lawyers told the judge today that they would seek to
prevent the boys' statements to the police from being used at trial.

Mr. Robles was attacked on Wednesday morning, shortly after the police broke
up a fight between black and Hispanic students at John F. Kennedy High
School. The youths had been let out of school early on one of the final days
of classes.

In court today, Joseph Fulco, a county homicide investigator, and Manuel
Hernandez, a Paterson juvenile detective, read from statements the teenagers
gave the authorities last week. One was asked why the group continued
kicking and punching Mr. Robles. "For no reason," Mr. Hernandez said the
youth replied.

"I told you, they was just hitting people," Mr. Hernandez said the boy told
him. "One person would hit him, and the others would stomp him and go
through his pockets."

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company

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