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Sunday, November 16, 2008

2 Held in Election Night Beating of Black Youth

Alie Kamara, a black Staten Island teenager, watched the results of the Nov. 4 election at a friend’s house. Soon after Barack Obama was declared the winner, he walked home alone to his house in the Stapleton neighborhood.

On the way, as he recounted on Saturday, a dark car pulled up alongside him on Vanderbilt Avenue . Two men jumped out and started to chase him. Two others followed shortly afterward.

“They said ‘Obama!’ ” Alie, 17, told reporters in the driveway of his house on Pine Place, recalling that the men were carrying bats. When the men caught up with him they beat him on the leg and head, he said. “I was bleeding by my head.”

He said the men wore hooded sweatshirts, but he could see that they were white. They continued to hit him, he said, until another car appeared. Then they left. The attackers made no other comments besides the initial shouting of the president-elect’s name.

The police said on Saturday that two 18-year-old men were arrested on Friday for the beating. The men, Ralph Nicoletti, of 35 Wadsworth Avenue, and Bryan Garaventa, of 169 Maryland Avenue, face charges of hate-crime assault and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the police.

A law enforcement official said on Saturday that a witness had helped the police to identify the two suspects.

Alie said he jumped over a fence and hid in a backyard, where he called his mother, who called an ambulance.

“I couldn’t move,” he said. “I was dizzy.” [Mark Godsey]

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