Teen thug wanted to kill a complete stranger just because he thought he was gay

Teen wanted to murder man because he thought he was gay

A teenager has been charged with attempted murder for allegedly beating, strangling and attempting to gouge out the eyes of a man he thought was gay.

18-year-old José Tobias Carranza Serrano of Baltimore, Maryland, was arrested on 23 June for attempted homicide, bias intimidation, robbery and aggravated assault.

His victim was a man he’d just met in a park in North Bergen, New Jersey in the early hours of 22 June, according to the attorney general’s office.

Serrano is accused of punching and kicking the man in the face, knocking out some of his teeth and causing several fractures. He also allegedly attempted to strangle the victim and tried to gouge his eyes out.

Authorities say Serrano admitted to luring the victim into the woods with the intention of killing him. When asked why, Serrano said he “does not like homosexual [sic]”.

After the attack the teen allegedly ran off with the man’s phone and $8 in cash, leaving him for dead. The victim was found unconscious near a path by the lake at around 5am the following day.

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

Serrano is currently being held in the Hudson County Correctional Facility pending a detention hearing. The bias intimidation charge carries up to 30 years in prison, while the attempted murder charge could result in 10 to 20 years of incarceration.

“Whether this type of hate-fuelled 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.

“That, of course, includes aggressively investigating and prosecuting those who commit such crimes.”