3 White Plains teens accused in hate crime

Posted: Updated:

Three White Plains teens were arrested and charged with second-degree gang assault as a hate crime in the attack on two college students, police say.

Orangetown police say the victims were leaving one of the dorms on the Sparkill campus of St. Thomas Aquinas College Dec. 4, when Leon Hakanjin, Alan Cervantes and Jesse Esteves, all 19 years old, started shouting racial slurs at them and then punched and kicked the students.

One of the victims, a Bronx resident, suffered an eye injury that required surgery. The other, a 20-year-old man from Wyandanch, was treated for a concussion and contusion to the left side of his head. Both students have since recovered.

"It was just sad because neither of them deserved it at all," says St. Thomas Aquinas student Chelsea Klinger.

No one is sure what sparked the fight, but students hope that kind of violence is never repeated.

"It's pretty scary, when you think about it," says student Stephen Marsh. "I don't want someone coming in who I've never met [and] all of a sudden just assaulting me."

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