BOSTON, July 25, 2013—Two restaurant workers were held on high bail at their arraignment on hate crime charges for allegedly beating a man at South Station while using homophobic slurs, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said today.
COLIN HAYES (D.O.B. 6/30/92) of Quincy and DEREK RUIZ (D.O.B. 6/3/85) of Brockton were arraigned this afternoon in the Boston Municipal Court on charges of unarmed robbery, assault and battery, and a civil rights violation with injury, all in connection with the incident early on the morning of July 20.
Assistant District Attorney Jessica Erickson recommended $15,000 cash bail for Hayes and $20,000 for Ruiz; Judge Mark Hart Summerville imposed $15,000 for both men.
“Transit Police detectives did an outstanding job investigating this case,” Conley said. “Their extensive efforts tracking the victim’s stolen phone made the difference in identifying suspects in this cowardly, violent, shameful act.”
The incident unfolded at about 5:40 on Saturday morning, when a Worcester man was charging his iPhone at an outlet while waiting for a train at South Station. The man reported that two young men taunted him about his clothing and used homophobic slurs, to which he responded by asking them to leave him alone.
The two men walked toward the main lobby but then returned and again engaged the victim verbally before beginning to punch him. While they were beating him, the assailants stole the victim’s phone before fleeing the station on foot.
Transit Police responded to the scene and had the victim transported to Tufts Medical Center, where he was treated for facial injuries. After interviewing him in person and later by phone, Transit Police undertook efforts to identify the perpetrators by reviewing surveillance images and locating the stolen phone.
Detectives first called the victims phone and explained to the person who answered that they were investigating the theft of a phone. In a voluntary interview, that man said he buys and sells cell phones on Craigslist and that an unknown male had contacted him in hopes of selling an iPhone. Police seized the stolen phone and were able to obtain the phone number of the person who sold it to him. Through further research, detectives then discovered that the seller’s phone number was included as a contact number in another Craigslist ad offering to buy and sell iPhones.
Investigators then exchanged texts with the person who posted that ad, but did not identify themselves as police officers. That person offered to purchase an iPhone and some marijuana from the detectives at a Dunkin Donuts in Andrew Square. When he met the detectives, he was in possession of more than an ounce of marijuana and he was placed under arrest.
In a subsequent interview, that man identified the person who sold him the stolen phone as “Derek” and provided detectives with a phone number for “Derek.”
The phone number came back to Ruiz, prosecutors said. Police viewed images of Ruiz on Facebook and identified him as one of the subjects seen in surveillance images they had retrieved from South Station. They also spotted one of Ruiz’s Facebook friends, later identified as Hayes, in the surveillance footage.
During the course of the investigation, police learned that the defendants worked at a bar on High Street. Yesterday, Transit Police detectives brought surveillance images depicting both assailants to staff at the bar and Blue Inc., a nearby restaurant under the same management. Both Hayes and Ruiz were identified by Blue Inc. staff as employees.
Hayes was working in the restaurant’s kitchen at the time and agreed to speak with police. He allegedly identified himself in the surveillance images presented by police. After being read his Miranda rights, Hayes allegedly made statements that he had left his job at midnight the night before the assault and consumed alcohol as he waited for Ruiz to leave work. Hayes further stated that the two had engaged in a physical altercation with the victim, during which he punched the victim, prosecutors said.
Ruiz was not working at the time and was apprehended by Transit Police detectives this morning.
Hayes was represented today by attorney Leonard Milligan. Ruiz was represented by attorney William Roa. Both will return to court on Aug. 22.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.