A Latino advocacy group is suing the parents of the seven Patchogue-Medford High School students charged in the fatal stabbing of an Ecuadorean immigrant, saying the mothers and fathers should be held accountable for how they raise the children.
The lawsuit is intended to seek financial compensation for the wrongful
death of Marcello Lucero, said attorney Kevin Faga of the Bronx, who is
representing Hispanics Across America.
Lucero's death deprives his family in Ecuador of his income from
working at a dry cleaners, according to the New York-based Hispanics
Across America, which plans to announce the suit on behalf of the
victim's family Tuesday afternoon.
"We're just trying to make sure the family doesn't suffer now," said Sergio Rodriguez, the group's executive director.
Prosecutors say the teenagers, looking for Hispanics to attack, seized
upon Lucero, 38, as he walked near the Patchogue train station Saturday
night. All the defendants were charged with first-degree gang assault
as a hate crime. Jeffrey Conroy, 17, who prosecutors say fatally
stabbed Lucero, is also charged with first-degree manslaughter as a
A call placed to Conroy's attorney Scott Salimando, of East Islip, was not immediately returned.
Faga said the outcome of the police investigation will show if there is
grounds for a lawsuit, and that New York State law does allow parents
to be held accountable for their children's actions in "certain cases,"
though he did not specify those circumstances. Faga also declined to
comment on how much in damages the lawsuit will seek.
While Lucero's family mourns his death, they must now also worry about their financial future, Rodriguez said.
"He was the primary supporter for his mother, sister and nephew in Ecuador," Rodriguez said.
The press conference was scheduled for 1 p.m. this afternoon at
Railroad Avenue and Stephen Street, the site where investigators say
Lucero was attacked.