Selden man arrested for targeting and attacking Hispanic men

Suffolk County Police arrested a man from Selden after targeting Hispanic men and taking them to remote locations and attacking them.

Christopher Cella drove to nearby La Placita, located at 711 Horseblock Road in Farmingville, and picked up a 52-year-old Holbrook resident at around 8:15 a.m. on Friday, September 17. Cella brought the man to an abandoned construction site. on Blue Point Road in Farmingville, where he attacked him.

Photo by BPSD

Cella then left the job site and went to the 7-Eleven, located at 3000 North Ocean Ave. in Farmingville, where, Just after 9 a.m. he picked up a 60-year-old Medford resident. Cella took him to the Blue Ridge condominium complex, located on Granny Road in Medford. There, Cella attacked and suffocated the man before the victim could escape.

The next morning at around 8 a.m., Cella returned to the North Ocean Avenue location and picked up a third victim, a 47-year-old Brentwood resident. Cella attempted to take him to an unknown location. The man became suspicious and was able to get out of the vehicle.

Suffolk County Police Hate Crimes Unit detectives, in coordination with 6th Squad detectives and Sixth District Crime Section officers, arrested Cella, 19, from 254 Adirondack Drive , without incident at his home at around 10:15 a.m. on Sunday. He was charged with two counts of aggravated 2nd degree harassment, two counts of criminal obstruction of breathing, two counts of unlawful 2nd degree imprisonment under the Hate Crimes Act and one count of reckless endangerment in the first degree under the Hate Crimes Act.

“The accused allegedly targeted these victims on the basis of their ethnicity and lured them under false pretenses before committing these violent attacks,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini. “This is a matter of great concern, and the Hate Crimes Task Force in my office will be working with the Hate Crimes Unit of the SCPD to thoroughly investigate and prosecute these incidents. “

Cella was arraigned in Suffolk County First District Court today and released on GPS monitoring. He is represented by the Legal Aid Society and is due to return to court on September 24.

The investigation is ongoing and Sini is urging anyone who believes they are a victim of Cella to contact the Hate Crimes Unit of the Suffolk County Police Department at 631-852-6553.

This case is being pursued by Assistant District Attorney Sheetal Shetty of the Felony Offense Bureau’s Major Crimes Unit, who is a member of the District Attorney’s Office’s Hate Crimes Task Force.

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