NEW YORK, DEC. 26 -- A gang of white men armed with sticks and bottles and yelling "This is our Howard Beach" chased and attacked two black brothers, authorities said today. Police arrested one of the alleged assailants.
The Friday night attack was the second reported incident of racially motivated violence in New York City since a Queens jury convicted three young whites of manslaughter in a highly publicized racial attack in the Howard Beach section of Queens.
An anonymous caller phoned police at 10:50 p.m. Friday and said two black men were being chased in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn by five to seven whites, said Sgt. Norris Hollomon.
Police arrested Douglas Malliband, 19, of Brooklyn, and charged him with second-degree assault, violation of the federal civil rights law and criminal possession of a dangerous instrument, a stick, Hollomon said. Malliband's companions in the alleged attack fled and are being sought by police.
The victims were identified as Steven Lamont, 31, of Staten Island, and his brother Sylvester, 29, of Brooklyn.
Police Capt. William Roe said that as the Lamont brothers, pushing a shopping cart full of cans they intended to return for deposits, passed a group of white men and women on 24th Street near Bath Avenue, one of the whites called to the pair, "What's in the cart, nigger? Are you robbing houses?" Several of the white men grabbed sticks and bottles and began chasing the Lamonts, police said. The brothers also said they saw a knife, but Roe said police could not confirm that. At one point the whites yelled "This is our Howard Beach," Roe said.
"That's what makes it a bias incident as opposed to just another type of incident," Roe said.
Steven Lamont suffered injuries to his right eye and right hand; Sylvester Lamont was bruised on his neck and shoulders in the attack, police said. Both were admitted to Coney Island Hospital and were expected to be released late today.
The Friday attack was the second since a jury in state Supreme Court in Queens Monday convicted three white teen-agers in the death of Michael Griffith, 23, who was chased onto a highway in Howard Beach and killed by a car Dec. 20, 1986. A fourth defendant was cleared of all charges.
On Wednesday, a white taxi driver was attacked by as many as 10 black youths who shouted "This is for Howard Beach" as they beat him, police said. Cabbie Antoni Dziatlowicz, 39, was punched in the face and kicked by his attackers in Washington Heights but was not seriously injured.