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Police: Man arrested for assaulting same-sex couple in Patchogue

Joseph Kett, of Patchogue, was arraigned Thursday afternoon and bail was set at $75,000 cash and $150,000 bond.

News 12 Staff

Jun 15, 2023, 10:43 AM

Updated 372 days ago

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Police say a man has been arrested for assaulting and harassing a same-sex couple in Patchogue last month.
According to police, two females were watching the sunset at Mascot Dock on South Ocean Avenue on May 14 at 7:45 p.m. when two males in a vehicle made anti-lesbian remarks.
Police say one of the men punched one of the women while the other man tried to push the second woman into the water and threw one of their cellphones into the water.
Both women, 29, were treated for non-life-threatening injuries at the hospital.
Following an investigation, detectives say Joseph Kess, 40, of Patchogue, was charged with assault as a hate crime, criminal mischief as a hate crime and aggravated harassment.
"It is unacceptable that two people cannot enjoy a night out without being intimidated, ridiculed and physically assaulted because of the victims' sexual orientation," Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney K. Harrison said. "There is no room for hate in this county and we will continue to arrest those who target individuals based on personal biases."
In court, the prosecution said Kess urinated on the victims' car and made comments to them such as "You need a man."
An attorney for Kess said the comments are "reprehensible," but said many, if not all of the comments could be attributed to the co-defendant who was not in court.
Kess was arraigned Thursday afternoon and bail was set at $75,000 cash and $150,000 bond.
LGBT Network president David Kilmnick says New York does not have clearly stated penalties for committing a hate crime.
"We need the New York State Legislature to pass hate crime laws that carry a minimum of 10 years in jail on top of the underlying crime," Kilmnick says. "Without that, there is no deterrent factors."
Police say the second male involved in the case has not yet been arrested and the investigation is continuing.


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