A 16-year-old was stabbed after he left a Long Island Burger King on January 9, allegedly by three classmates who entered the country illegally and are connected to the dangerous MS-13 gang.
The victim told police he and his friends were at the restaurant when six other classmates, including the three suspects, entered and stared at them, according to ABC 7.
“Feeling uncomfortable, the victim and a friend left, and the three gang members followed them, wielding bats and knives, police said,” ABC 7 reported. “An altercation broke out in the parking lot, and that's when 19-year-old Ramon Arevalo Lopez allegedly stabbed the victim in the back. Another 16-year-old boy suffered a minor injury in the fight.”
Another student obtained a minor injury in the attack. The stabbing victim was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
After the attack, the suspects fled but were caught and arrested by police, who say the three had blood on their clothing and hands. Along with Lopez, 17-year-old Oscar Canales Molina and 20-year-old Nobeli Montes Zuniga were arrested and are suspected of being members of MS-13.
Jason Bassett, Lopez’s attorney, says his client is not a member of MS-13.
“Ramon is not a member of MS-13 (or any other gang) — being 'confirmed' in some ill-conceived database isn’t proof of anything,” Bassett said in a statement to Newsday. "Accusations made during a press conference aren’t proof of anything. Certainly tweets from a White House with a tenuous relationship with the truth aren’t proof of anything. While so many of our civil liberties have come under attack recently, we still cling to the idea that one is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Ramon is innocent of the charges against him."
Bassett referenced a tweet from the official White House Twitter account, which linked to the ABC 7 article about the attack and called the suspects “illegal gang members.”
“We welcome immigrants who come here legally, but not illegal gang members. This week a HS student was stabbed by 3 MS-13 members. According to police, the attackers had entered the U.S. illegally, were picked up by DHS, but were released by judges,” the White House tweeted.
Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini is the one who first said the Huntington Station suspects had entered the country illegally. They were also listed in the Suffolk County Police Department’s “database of likely gang members,” according to Newsday.
The suspects have all plead not guilty.
President Donald Trump has not personally tweeted about the attack, but has previously mentioned Long Island as a place where MS-13 gang members carry out their illegal activities.
"Crippling loopholes in our laws have enabled MS-13 gang members and other criminals to infiltrate our communities, and Democrats in Congress refuse to close these loopholes, including the disgraceful practice known as catch and release," Trump said at a gang forum in 2018.