Sao Paulo Skateboard Gang Arrested for Murding Gay Teen

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday Feb 3, 2014

Sao Paulo police arrested a gang of skateboarders recently who have been accused of killing a gay teenager. Authorities are also linking the group to a series of robberies targeting members of the city's LGBT community, the International Business Times reports.

Police say they arrested six males, ages ranging between 16 and 23, for confessing to murdering Bruno Borges de Oliveira, 18.

The teen was attacked on his way home after a night out at the popular LGBT Frei Caneca Street in Sao Paulo, which is Brazil's largest city. He died of injuries he suffered during a mugging that took place in central Sao Paulo. IBT reports de Oliveira was stripped of his shoes, cell phone, and public transportation ticket. He was also punched, kicked and hit a number of times on the head with a skateboard.

"When we came back he was already dead," one friend, who has not been named, told media.

The authorities believe the skateboarding gang is connected to a string of robberies targeting LGBT people. The group allegedly carried out the crimes against people leaving gay clubs in recent weeks.

"They chose their victims for being gay," police spokesman Ruy Ferraz Fontes told Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper, according to IBT. "They stole the victim's belongings as part of a ritual of humiliation."

Police also said three other people were mugged by the gang the same night de Oliveira was killed.

"They tried to surround me and punched me," a victim said. "I have no doubt this is the result of homophobia."

Police released photos of the suspects and said they expect a number of victims to come forward.


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