Joseph Kess, 40, of Patchogue was charged with assault and criminal mischief in Suffolk County Court on Wednesday, June 28, in connection with the Mother’s Day incident at the Patchogue Mascot Pier related to the attack.

According to prosecutors, on May 14, 2023, two young women were watching the sunset on the beach and taking pictures together when Keyes and another man began making derogatory remarks about their sexuality.

The incident escalated after Keyes urinated on their car, threw beer cans at them and threw a cellphone and sandals of one of the women into the water, prosecutors said.

He then reportedly grabbed one of the women and dragged her towards the edge of the pier, trying to throw her into the water while telling her he was going to drown her.

According to investigators, Keith’s accomplices repeatedly punched the woman in the head as the woman struggled to break free.

The attack finally stopped when a Good Samaritan stepped in and pulled the man away from her.

Prosecutors said both women suffered bruises to their faces and bodies, and one woman had a fingernail ripped from the nail bed causing “extreme pain”.

Case initially fled the scene, but was arrested shortly after witnesses called 911.

“Such bigotry is unacceptable,” Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney said in a statement. Resources are available to ensure that alleged perpetrators are brought to justice.”

Case was arraigned in court on Wednesday on the following charges:

  • Third Degree Assault as a Hate Crime (Felony)
  • Third Degree Criminal Mischief as a Hate Crime (Felony)
  • Second Degree Serious Harassment (Misdemeanor)

He was ordered to be held in the Suffolk County Jail on $75,000 cash bond and is due to appear in court again on Monday, July 24.

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