The police have charged a man with two counts of menacing and for making a false report after chasing two boys with a machete outside a Mastic movie theater.
According to the Suffolk County Police, 49-year-old Frank Bellezza Jr. ran at two boys in a threatening manner outside Island Cinemas with the weapon, and then claimed he was the one chased by the two boys.
The mother of one of the victims, Ifetayo Bonner, has expressed her concern, said more charges should be added, and that race played a part. Bellezza is white and the two victims are Black.
“Enough is enough with racist people thinking they can single our sons out and then get a SLAP ON THE WRIST! NOT MY CHILD,” wrote Bonner to Shades of Long Island and in a post on the Facebook page Black Long Island. “It is sickening to believe that Black males can’t enjoy a night at the movie theater without being assumed ‘thugs’ or criminals. I could barely sleep last night thinking of how awful this could’ve been.”
Bellezza’s actions are believe to be retaliation for his son being assaulted at Island Cinemas said theater officials.
The owner of the theater, Sanj Manucha, confirmed that Bellezza’s son worked at the theater and was assaulted by a group of around 20 boys. The incident was reported to the police, but suspects were never identified.
Both incidents were captured on the theater’s security cameras and are being reviewed by the police.
The case is similar to the recent case in Deer Park in which 36-year-old Robert Bishop, a white man, was arrested and charged for stealing a bike from a Black boy.
We will continue to provide updates on the story.