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Four Teens Beat Black FIU Student with Bat

Four teenagers have been charged with a hate crime, accused of the beating and attempted drowning of a black college student at Haulover Beach Park Marina over the weekend. After calling him the N-word, the teens beat Florida International University freshman Stephen Barrett with a baseball bat and tried to drown him in the Intracoastal Waterway, Miami-Dade police said. The suspects in the attack range in age from 15 to 18.

All had attended a keg party at an island in the middle of the Intracoastal. About 1 a.m. Sunday, Barrett and two other FIU dorm mates were on a boat headed back to Haulover Marina when the driver of the boat said it was overloaded.

”Get off the boat, N—–,” the teens said to Barrett, according to police reports.

Words were exchanged, but the FIU students got off the boat, said Christopher Eden, who had attended the party with Barrett and friend Daniel Cabevas.

The three friends, all 18, decided to wait on the island for the boat’s next trip.

But when they arrived back at the marina, the teens, now armed with baseball bats, were waiting for them.

The three college students were overwhelmed by their attackers.

Barrett was knocked into the Intracoastal, and several teens tried holding his head under water, according to police reports.

A man fishing nearby called police. Another partygoer ran off and flagged down Bal Harbour Officer Steve Goldberg, who was writing a traffic ticket on Collins Avenue.

”Upon my arrival, I observed approximately 10-15 subjects trying to leave the area in a hurry,” Goldberg wrote in his report. “There were three victims who were hit with bats and one victim was almost drowned . . . while also being beaten.”

Miami-Dade, Surfside, Sunny Isles Beach and Bay Harbor Islands officers also went to the scene.

A bloody baseball bat was taken as evidence. The arrests were made by detectives from Miami-Dade’s Intracoastal station.

Charged with a hate crime, battery and attempted felony murder: Miguel Aranda, 18, and Gilberto Maakaroun, 17, a North Miami Beach High student.

Charged with a hate crime and battery: Nicholas Checa, 15, and Marino Biondini, 17.

A fifth person, Jose Osorio, 21, was charged with aggravated battery and attempted felony murder, but not a hate crime.

Aranda and Osorio were still jailed Monday.

Alleged hate crimes often make headlines in South Florida. Race usually is the reason attributed, followed by sexual orientation and religion.

Florida’s hate-crime laws were enacted in 1989 after a rash of vandalism at Jewish synagogues. A person charged with a hate crime faces a more severe penalty.

Barrett, Eden and Cabevas are dorm buddies at FIU’s University Park campus. Eden is white; Cabevas is Hispanic.

While Eden’s and Cabevas’ injuries were limited to bruises, Barrett’s were more serious. He was taken to Aventura Hospital suffering from a stiff neck and dizziness, according to Eden. Barrett came from New York to attend college at FIU. Reached Monday night, he declined to be interviewed about the incident.

”Welcome to Miami,” said his friend, Eden.

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One Response

  1. […] æµé¢¨å wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptBarrett was knocked into the Intracoastal, and several teens tried holding his head under water, according to police reports. A man fishing nearby called police…. […]

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