Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced that a man has been charged with attempted murder and bias intimidation for allegedly beating and choking a man he suspected of being gay in North Hudson Park in North Bergen, on June 22. According to the Attorney Generals' office, José Tobias Carranza Serrano, aka “Kevin Lopez,” 18, of Baltimore, Mayland, was arrested on June 23. He was charged by complaint with the following offenses:
- Attempted Homicide (1st Degree)
- Bias Intimidation (1st Degree)
- Robbery (1st Degree)
- Aggravated Assault (2nd Degree)
Carranza Serrano was charged as the result of an investigation by the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and Division of Criminal Justice, assisted by the North Bergen, Hoboken, and Bayonne Police Departments. Carranza Serrano is being held in the Hudson County Correctional Facility pending a detention hearing. The Attorney Generals' office said that in the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 22, Carranza Serrano allegedly attacked the victim near the south end of the lake in North Hudson Park.
The investigation revealed that the victim was a stranger whom Carranza Serrano had just met. Carranza Serrano allegedly wanted to kill the victim because he suspected the victim was gay.
According to the investigation, Carranza Serrano allegedly punched and kicked the victim in the face, causing multiple fractures and knocking out several teeth.
The investigation found that he also allegedly attempted to strangle the victim. Carranza Serrano allegedly took a smartphone and $8 in cash from the victim. The victim was found unconscious near the path around the lake by a passerby shortly before 5 a.m. on June 22. “This defendant is charged with attempting to kill a complete stranger because he thought the man was gay,” Attorney General Grewal said.
“The victim was beaten and choked so badly that he was unconscious for several hours before a passerby found him and called for help. Whether this type of hate-fueled violence is directed against the LGBTQ+ community or other groups, it is terribly destructive to society and we must push back against it in every way possible."