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Three white teens, spewing racial epithe

September 20, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ Three white teens, spewing racial epithets and wielding a baseball bat, attacked a black man as he made a telephone call early Saturday, authorities said.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, speaking at a news conference, said the unprovoked attack was under investigation as a bias crime. The victim, 27-year-old Kevin Teague, was treated and released at a Brooklyn hospital for head and facial injuries.

The three suspects _ Andrew Russo, 18; his cousin Alphonso Russo, 17; and Anthony Mascuzzio, 19, all of Brooklyn _ were charged with aggravated harassment, criminal possession of a weapon and felonious assault, said police Deputy Commissioner Patrick Kelleher.

According to Kelleher, Teague and a friend, Steven Bruce, had just exited a subway station in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens section when they stopped at a pay phone just before 3 a.m.

The two were returning from a night shift at the United Parcel Service in Manhattan, said Teague’s cousin, Abdul Yusef.

Suddenly, the three suspects piled out of a car and attacked Teague, police said. Giuliani said they were armed with a baseball bat and a metal anti-car theft club, and they were shouting ``vicious racial slurs.″ Bruce was not struck by the attackers.

The suspects left a bleeding Teague on the street and fled in their car when a team of undercover narcotics officers arrived at the scene, Kelleher said.

The officers called in a description of the car, and the suspects were arrested 12 blocks away, he said.

Teague was treated for head injuries, facial cuts and lacerations, Kelleher said. The suspect was able to identify his assailants immediately after their arrests, police said.

Friends and family of the suspects said the teens were the victims of a robbery committed by the victims. Kelleher said if there was an earlier incident where the suspects were robbed, neither Teague or Bruce was involved.

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