SOMERS, N.Y. - State police have arrested a Carmel couple and charged them with multiple felonies, including a hate crime for what investigators said was a bias-based assault.
State police from the Somers barracks said that on Saturday, July 6, at around 8:15 p.m., they were called to the Chili’s Bar & Grill parking lot in Baldwin Place, on the Somers/Mahopac border, on a report of a domestic dispute.
Police said their investigation revealed that Antonio and Gina Vuksanaj, both 50 and from Carmel, violated an order of protection and blocked the retreat of the victim, who was trying to exit the parking lot. Police said the Vuksanajes then attempted to pull the victim from a vehicle through force and damaged the victim’s vehicle with a tire iron. The crimes committed against the victim appear to be biased in nature due to the victim’s sexual orientation, police said.
The Vuksanajes were both charged with second-degree criminal mischief as a hate crime, a class C felony; first-degree criminal contempt, a class E felony; second-degree unlawful imprisonment, a class A misdemeanor; and first-degree harassment, a class B misdemeanor.
Police said that Antonio Vuksanaj was additionally charged with third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a class D felony, due to a previous weapon-related conviction.
The couple was arraigned before the town of Somers Court, and held in the Westchester County Jail in lieu of $7,500 cash bail each or $7,500 secure bond.
An additional full stay-away order of protection was requested on behalf of the victim and granted by the court.