DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WIVB) - The two men accused of relentlessly bullying and harassing a disabled Dunkirk man were arraigned in court on Monday.
Nineteen-year-old Matt Colon and 18-year-old Ryan Hudson are charged with stalking Mikey Gonzalez. Videos the suspects allegedly posted to YouTube show the pair following Mikey all over town, making noises that aggravate the disabled man's Tourette syndrome.
When aggravated, Mikey makes noises and uncontrollably slaps himself in the face. Years of bullying has caused Mikey to hit himself so many times he lost sight in one eye.
Both men told Judge Walter Drag they have a lawyer. Bail was set for them at $750. The judge requested News 4 not show the face of Ryan Hudson when he is in the courtroom because at 18-years-old, Hudson may be eligible for youthful offender status.
Both men apologized in their statements to police and said they now know it was wrong.
Colon told police, "I at first thought it was funny and I had no clue what I was doing was wrong. I posted the video to YouTube because I thought it was a joke."
In an earlier conversation over Twitter, Colon said he's "clearly not sorry" for making the video - something he later told police was just a joke.
When we tried to speak to Ryan Hudson about the video, he got in the face of News 4 reporter, Lou Raguse. In his statement, Hudson offered police this explanation, "I have intermittent explosive disorder and I could not control myself on how I reacted to the reporter."
After leaving court with his family, Colon did not offer an explanation to his actions and instead spit on Raguse. His brother took it one step further, and shoved Raguse into a light pole. The exchange was all caught on camera; watch the video included with this story.
Both suspects told police in signed statements that they have seen Mikey acting "normal" so they did not know if his reactions to being bullied were accurate until they hunted him down and recorded the video posted online.
Mikey's brother Sam Gonzalez says after this incident, Colon's brother who shoved Raguse, approached his family shouting more obscenities. "Makes me sick. They need to grow up," Sam said.
After the arrest of Colon and Hudson and publicity from our investigative report, Mikey tells News 4 the bullying has stopped.
Mikey's mom, Linda Gonzalez, said, "Mikey seems like a happier person. Nobody's picking on him and it's like the weight has been taken off his shoulder."
Mikey along with his mom and brother attended Monday's arraignment of the two men facing charges for bullying him. Colon and Hudson are due back in court on December 11.
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