More Information Comes Out On Luis Ramirez Killing.

Derrick Donchak, 18, Brandon Piekarsky, 16, and Colin Walsh, 17, have been charged in the beating death of Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Ramirez died on Monday from injuries sustained during the attack.

Derrick Donchak, 18, Brandon Piekarsky, 16, and Colin Walsh, 17, have been charged in the beating death of Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Ramirez died on Monday from injuries sustained during the attack.

Since last week, when three White teenagers in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania were charged in the beating death of Luis Ramirez, a Mexican migrant, more information has come out regarding the circumstances under which Ramirez was beaten to death. ABC News reports:

. . .

According to a police affidavit, the defendants and three 17-year-olds encountered Ramirez, 25, and a teenage girl in a park the night of July 12.

The youths goaded Ramirez and the girl, saying, “You should get out of this neighborhood” and “Get your Mexican boyfriend out of here,” documents said. After Ramirez and the girl began walking away, someone yelled an ethnic slur at him, court documents said. He responded, “What’s your problem?”

A fight ensued, during which police said Walsh punched Ramirez in the face. The victim fell and hit his head on the street, leaving him unconscious, after which Piekarsky kicked him in the head, police said.

All three suspects used ethnic slurs during the fight, which ended with Ramirez in convulsions and foaming at the mouth, authorities said. The attackers fled the scene; Ramirez underwent surgery but died July 14 of head injuries.

Piekarsky and Walsh were being held without bail, while Donchak was held on $75,000 bail.

Lawyers for Piekarsky and Walsh said their clients are not guilty and that there was no evidence to support the homicide charges. They also said they would try to have the case removed to juvenile court.

Luis Ramirez, a Mexican migrant, lies in a coma after he was severely beaten by White teenagers in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. The photo was taken by Ramirez's parter hours befored he died from injuries sustained during his beating.

Luis Ramirez, a Mexican migrant, lies in a coma after being severely beaten by White teenagers in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. The photo was taken just hours before Ramirez died from injuries sustained during the beating.

Roger Laguna, Walsh’s lawyer, said the police affidavit “pretty much describes chaos, and what you have then after the fact is somebody trying to sort through that and attribute certain acts to certain individuals.”

He said that although slurs might have been used, the fight was not motivated by ethnicity.

“I think any time there’s a fight and any time you have one ethnic group fighting another, there’s going to be racial slurs,” he said. “I’ve seen that since I was a kid on a playground 20 years ago, but they never called it ethnic intimidation until very recently.”

Frederick Fanelli, Piekarsky’s lawyer, said he is “surprised and disappointed” that his client faces a homicide charge, attributing Ramirez’s death to a “street fight that ended tragically.”

. . .

“A street fight that ended tragically?” That might be the understatement of the century. I suppose we’re expected to believe that Luis Ramirez’s death was just the result of a misunderstanding. Right. At least charges have finally been brought against these guys. Now let’s see whether the legal system, having failed to protect Luis Ramirez, will succeed in dispensing justice to the people who killed him.


30 thoughts on “More Information Comes Out On Luis Ramirez Killing.

  1. i heard that the boys were aquitted of the charges!!! Someone or rather EVERYONE has to stand up against this! Its is disgraceful and either the “justice” system needs to stand up or ppl will take it justice into their own hands


  2. what goes around,comes around! how can their parents be ok with what their kids did? they killed a human being not an animal!!! maybe we can escape from human justice,but from god’s justice…no one!!! i will see their fall!!!


  3. Anonymous,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I disagree with you wholeheartedly.

    What exactly do you blame undocumented migrants for? For being here? For doing jobs Americans won’t do? For settling for a below-minimum wage? For paying rent, buying cars, food, etc. . . . in other words, for contributing to the US economy?

    There is plenty of blame to go around, and it shouldn’t all rest squarely on the shoulders of the desparate people who often risk their lives in search of a livelihood in the US. A federal program that regulates entry and makes it easier for migrants to work seasonally (i.e., leave and come back according to the demand for their labor) would be a start. Look at the European Union, for example. London is full of Polish construction workers and waiters and, while there are definitely cases of exploitation and abuse, at least these workers cannot be accused of being “illegal” and they have some legal recourse and access to public services. Most importantly, when the demand for their labor abates, they have the option of returning to their home country or moving to another European one in search of work. Giving workers the option to “legally” cross borders in search of work will automatically eliminate a huge chunk of the problem.


  4. who….me?

    Thanks for your comment. I agree with you that violent crimes should be punished regardless of whether or not they are motivated by the victim’s race.

    But sometimes, people are attacked, beaten, raped, and even killed for no reason other than their ethnicity. In these cases, if it can be proved that all or part of the motive for the crime was the victim’s race—and it’s notoriously difficult to prove this—the perpetrators should definitely be subjected to additional punishment.

    In the Tennessee case you mentioned, it’s horribly tragic what happened to the victims, and I hope the perpetrators are locked away under the prison for what they did. But if they were not charged with a hate crime, then that’s a shortcoming of the federal and local prosecutors.

    Hate crimes are real and we need a law to punish people who commit them. Just because the cases are difficult to prove doesn’t mean we should get rid of the law. The case for charges of first-, second-, and third-degree homicide, for example, are very difficult to prove in many criminal cases, but that doesn’t mean we should get rid of the crime just because of that.

    From where I stand, the crime against Luis Ramirez looks like a hate crime, and the federal government is sufficiently convinced to examine the case as such. It would be great if the feds investigated other crimes as hate crimes—e.g., rape and other violence against women, violence against gay men, lesbians, and transgendered people, and yes, violence against White people simply because they are white—but currently, there’s a lot of resistance to expanded hate-crimes legislation. I hope you will be in the forefront of lobbying your elected representatives to expand federal hate-crimes laws.

    In the meantime, the die has already been cast for Luis Ramirez’s killers. Let’s leave it at that.


  5. Lisa,

    Thanks for reading my blog and leaving what might be the most intelligent and well-thought-out comment on this subject.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. It’s a breath of fresh air to have a sensitive, intelligent, and compassionate comment on here instead of the usual blame-the-victim comments I’ve been getting.

    Thanks again.


  6. this is a sad thing and I think the people responsible should be charged and punished for the crime itself, regardless of anyone’s race or ethnicity. Fact is they killed someone, let them be punished accordingly. I understand that if it is ‘hate crime” then additional years can be added to the sentence. So going by this if a black kills a white & it is a hate crime he can get more time, if the black kills a black it is not a hate crime and he does not get more time. In either case a man is dead. Same if it is reversed, a white kills a black, hate crime and add years, white kills white , no hate crime no added time. If we continue to do this type of thing racism will never stop, a killing is a horrible crime and let people be judged & punished for the crime, regardless of the race of those involved.
    And just so you know, there are crimes against whites committed by blacks that are not labled hate crimes just as there are crimes by whites against blacks that are not labled hate crimes. If you don’t think so check out the story of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom from Tenn. A young white couple on a date car-jacked, kidnapped, both raped, and beaten, him shot & set afire, her raped and tortured for hours after, cleaning agents poured down her throat then stuffed in a garbage can & left to die.The attackers were all black but it is not being called a hate crime, why? Because the victims are not alive to say if any racial slurs were used. But it makes no difference as far as I can see, they should be tried for the horrible things they did and punished for them.


  7. I know it probably doesn’t make any sort of difference, because it never seems to happen in the press, but there are white people out there who see this information, cringe, feel sick, and do immediately think about how horrific the racism in this country has become and do see that as a white problem and are horrified. I should know–I’m one of them. All I can do (and what I try to do, as much as I can) is acknowledge my own privilege and try to point out to others their privilege (most people in this country just don’t get it–they don’t understand how our society works for them, favors them, allows them to live and work and play in ways that no one else has access to).

    I am so sorry for his family, his children, and his community that has been put in a position of fear and uncertainty because of what happened to him. A hate crime is the same thing as terrorism–it is a concentrated attack, aimed at a symbolic target, designed to breed fear and disrupt communities. If only our country had the guts to acknowledge that similarity and start focusing on eliminating it from our own system before we took our imperialistic, racist, hurtful ideologies elsewhere.

    And as for the stealing of jobs–let’s be real. In the international market that exists today, jobs don’t get stolen by people crossing borders. Companies take them over borders and sell them elsewhere faster than we can blink. The truth is, we’re better off having those jobs, and the money earned from them, being cycled back into our economy at the general level by having the immigrants here and spending their earnings here than losing everything with profits all going to the highest tier and any money made by the workforce being spent and recycled in other countries. That sort of fear and misunderstanding is very, very dated, and people need to start moving beyond it and identifying the real reasons why the market and jobs are so rough right now. Blaming the other doesn’t help anything.


  8. I don’t think that this Luis Ramirez is the same man who was wanted for stabbing someone. I’ve been keeping an eye on this story and see this idea brought up everywhere
    — but no proof. It seems to me that if it was true, someone would come up with more than an internet link.

    Luis Ramirez is a pretty common name among latinos. I think it would be better to focus on the fact that this man was murdered and that was wrong.

    That said, I do blame the illegal aliens who come here. Yes, there are corrupt employers who will hire them, but that is not an excuse. Responding to the opportunity to do wrong by doing wrong does not make an action all right.


  9. deeliv,

    The issue here is that a man was beaten to death. Talking about immigration reform is just your attempt to shift the focus of the conversation from the brutality of the crime that cost Luis Ramirez his life.

    I will not let you use my blog as a forum to spew your anti-immigrant rhetoric. Please post your comments somewhere else. I’m sure you’re quite familiar with blogs and chatrooms where your views would be quite welcome.



  10. @@ @@@@@@ @@, @@ @@@@ @@@ @@@@@ @@@@ @@@@ @@@ @@@@@@@@ @@@ @@@@@@ @@ @@@@@@ @@@ @@@@@@@ @@@ @@@@@@@@ @@ @@@ @@@@ @@@@@@ @@@@@@ @@@@ @@ @@@@@ @@@@@@@@@ @@@@ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@ @@@ @@@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@. @@@@@@@@@@ @@ @@@ @ @@@@ @@ @@@@@@@@@ @@ @@@@@@. @@ @@@@@ @@@@@ @@ @@@@@@ @@@@@@ @@@@@ @@ @@ @@@ @@@@@ @@@ @@@ @@@@@ @@@@? @@@@ @@ @@@ @@@@@@@. @@@@@ @@@@@@@@ @@@ @@@@@ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@ @@@ @@@@@@@ @@@@ @@@@ @@@@@@ @@@@’@ @@@@ @ @@@@@ @@@@@@@. @@@@@@@@@ @@@ @@ @@@@@@@ @@ @@@ @@@ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@@’@ @@@@@@@@@ @@ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @@ @@@@ @@@@@@@@ @@@@ @@@@@@@@ @@@@@ @@@@@ @@@ @@@@@@@@ @@@@@ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@ @@@@ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@@ @@ @@@@@ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@@@ @@@@ @@@ @@@ @@@ @@@@ @@@@ @@@ @@ @@ @@@@@@@ @ @@@@@@@ @@@@@@. 48% @@ @@@ @@@@@@@@ @@@@@@@@@@@@ @@@@@ @@ @@@@@@@ .
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  11. deeliv,

    I’m not sure who exactly you’re addressing this comment to but I can assure you that I’m neither Mexican nor have I ever been out in a bar drinking and provoking fights.

    As for the facts of the case, I can only go by what’s in the local and national media. So there’s no use insinuating there’s a gigantic conspiracy or cover-up in this case. If you have information that’s being overlooked by CNN et al., I’m sure there are plenty of professional journalists who would love to see it.

    And yes, it’s high time we had a national conversation about the issue of undocumented migrant workers, and the role of US employers should definitely be discussed. But I don’t think this is the right context.

    A man is dead. He was beaten to death, whether or not you want to admit it. The case has been investigated and Luis Ramirez’s killers are being charged with ethnic intimidation and murder. There’s nothing you can do to change that fact.

    Ranting and raving about “illegal Mexicans” will not bring Luis Ramirez back to life or give his children their father back. Nor will it change the fact that the three boys responsible for his death are facing some very serious criminal charges.


  12. I am sorry for the loss of a father and son. I hope that many of the comments from the illegal Mexican community are out of anger over his loss and not hatred of the white Shenandoah residents because they are the compassionate ones, paying for your kid’s education, medical, welfare, court and incarceration costs. Don’t scape goat teenagers for drinking and getting in a street fight that caused someone to die like your so innocent and haven’t been out in the bars and provoking fights. The way you show no understanding or compassion and even lie about what happened tells me alot about who is really provoking whom. He wasn’t beaten to death. And the illegal Mexicans should not be distorting what happened into a platform for illegal immigration rights just because they know our government can’t touch them.
    I agree the people responsible are the employers and so far they’re the only ones not charged. They should pay for the hospital and court cost of the illegals they employ not the taxpayers.




  13. To jorge …
    I am from where Luis was from. I know where his family lives and I was there to see his coffin pass by my grandparents house. I took pictures but I did not know all this information about his murder. I have been reading everything since I came back yesterday and I am sick to my stomach to learn about all these things. Luis’ family in Mexico is a hard working family with good reputation. I hope there is justice. I am going back at the end of the month again and I will stop by his house and give his family my condolences. if you know his wife and kids, please let them know that my entire family will have them in our prayers.


  14. ian,

    I feel the same way. This Laguna character doesn’t come off sounding particularly smart either.

    It sounds like he thinks a) it’s perfectly normal that members of different ethnic groups would fight each other; b) that it shouldn’t be illegal when six members of one ethnic group verbally abuse one member of another; and c) there’s no difference between a playground fight and an aggravated assault that results in death.

    I’ve seen that since I was a kid on a playground 20 years ago, but they never called it ethnic intimidation until very recently”

    Really?! You don’t say! Does this, I wonder, have anything do with the fact that the Latino population only recently arrived? Also, what kind of lawyer draws a comparison between playground fights and namecalling on one hand, and aggravated assault and racist taunting on the other?

    Laguna might wish ethnic intimidation were not against the law but unfortunately for his client—and fortunately for the rest of us—it happens to be. The question now is whether Donckak, Piekarsky, and Walsh will be punished to the fullest extent of that same law.


  15. I have to wonder what Laguna thinks ethnic intimidation could possibly be, if to him it doesn’t include “one ethnic group fighting another.” By that definition, the wars in the former Yugoslavia during the ’90s wouldn’t have even qualified. Open fighting between groups based on ethnicity sounds to me a lot like the epitome of ethnic intimidation.


  16. Pingback: Justice Department Joins Investigation into Beating Death of Luis Ramirez « T’ings ‘n Times

  17. Anonymous,

    Thanks for your comment, and for showing sympathy to Luis Ramirez. Most of the other blame-the-victim commenters don’t even bother.

    I think the anger you describe is completely misplaced. Latinos are not stealing jobs. If anyone is stealing them, it’s employers who would rather pay Latino workers exploitation wages than hire US citizens and pay them a living wage.

    But that’s neither here nor there. People are not coming to the US to just sit around and twiddle their thumbs. They’re coming here to work. If there’s no work, people pack up and move on. Or move back. The US labor market rests solidly on a free-market foundation so the lowest bidder wins every time.

    Migrant workers from poorer countries shouldn’t be blamed because they’re willing to work for less. Blame the employers instead.


  18. Justice1,

    That’s a very interesting revelation. Can you point me in the direction of proof of this stabbing charge/warrant? But even if he had indeed stabbed someone and was on the run from the law, did the boys who beat him to death have any way of knowing this? Was it retribution that caused them to kick in his head as he lay on the ground unconscious? Did they know anything about Luis Ramirez’s “chequered” past when they attacked him and beat him to death? I think not.

    And what does the presence of his “jailbait” friend at the scene have to do with anything? According to her own eyewitness account, she was there with someone else, another man. All three of them had been out earlier in the evening and had parted ways with Luis. They returned to witness his death after he called them to tell them that he’d gotten attacked.

    So please explain to me how “jailbait” is in any way connected to Luis’ Ramirez’s death? Again, do you expect us to believe that Piekarsky et al. attacked Luis because they were defending the young woman’s honor?

    A man is dead because some people decided to beat up on him and, judging from the racist namecalling, I’m inclined to think his being Mexican had everything to do with their decision to beat up on him. Let’s call things what they are and stop trying to find ways to blame Luis Ramirez for his death.

    The people who killed Luis Ramirez had no way to know he was undocumented and no way to know any of the other “revelations” that are popping up about him. They only thing they could have known for certain is that he looked different from them.


  19. Jorge, if he was not violent at all, why was he wanted for stabbing another person in 2004? Stop playing like Luis was the victim. We ALL know what he was doing in the park with jailbait. Tell the truth.


  20. This was murder plain and simple.

    But as long as the U.S. federal government doesn’t secure the borders and deport illegal alien work thieves, this is going to happen more and more. If Ramirez hadn’t been here illegally, stealing jobs, and fathering anchor babies, chances are excellent that he’d still be alive. Instead of working to improve his situation in his own country, he decided to take the easy route, just like a thief decides to climb through a window and steal a pocketbook.

    This is not racism, it is anger about the fact that millions of Latinos are here with only their feet as their passport and their pockets are filled with cash from stolen jobs. Latino illegal aliens get the heat because they are the large majority of illegal aliens and their “advocates” play the race card because they can’t justify the fact that the aliens are lawbreakers.

    What these kids did was wrong and I hope they are executed for this cowardly, hateful treatment of another human being. But let’s not pretend that this is as simple as one race hating another — for one thing, “Mexican” is not a race. It is a culture that is exporting its population because the wealthy there do not want them; they prefer them here and sending home remittances.

    Rest in peace, young man.


  21. I grew up in Shenandoah Pa… I ran the streets during the 80’s and early 90’s and finally left Shenandoah in the mid 90’s and now live in FL… I was there when the His panic’s started arriving… I watched as they would hassled them in barrooms simply because they were Hispanic!!! They (the Hispanics) weren’t looking for trouble but they were picked on by some white guys… I came in between a friend I was hanging out with and a Hispanic while we were drinking at the “J-bar” and stopped the fight… The only reason my friend wanted to fight that guy is because the man was Hispanic… It’s an extremely racist town. The Feds need to get involved or the “boys” that murdered Mr. Ramirez are gonna walk!!! I’m white and I’m very ashamed of what goes on in that town. I was truly blessed to have been able to get out. I go back to Shenandoah at least once a year to visit family and I must admit that the town of Shenandoah is going down hill fast… Mainly due to drugs… I pray that the Peace of Jesus Christ may rest on that town and be healed of this senseless crime.


  22. Shagnaz,

    I don’t know if Piekarsky is related to anyone in the Shenandoah PD, but I guess it wouldn’t be such a rarity in a town of 5,000. The burough manager did come out and say he knew the boys and their families and he knew that they didn’t harbor such racist attitudes.

    All this makes me wonder what exactly these boys had to have done for people in Shenandoah to admit that this was a hate crime. Or to start doing some introspection.

    I agree with you that there’s a massive double-standard when it comes to violent crimes committed by White people. If a Black person commits a violent crime (or any crime for that matter), it’s further proof that Black people are violent, dishonest, etc. and that it’s time for Black men to step up to the plate and be real men. When Muslim fundies blow people up, that’s further proof that Islam is a violent, evil religion. When a bunch of White kids beat an unarmed Latino to death, the silence is deafening. Nobody calls on the White community to reflect. Nobody asks the White community to introspect.

    I would have hoped that this hate crime would be a good catalyst for us to start discussing racism in America (not like there haven’t been many, many other opportunities in the past!) but I would be lying if I said I was surprised by the silence.


  23. Hey Abdul!

    Thanks for keeping us all informed. But, what do you think a lawyer is going to say when he is defending the perpetrators of the crime? Whatever he said is a load of horse-shit. Anyway, am I not mistaken, but isn’t Piekarsky related to the officers in the Shenandoah police department?

    When a ethnic/man-woman of color or anything non-white commits a crime, the first thing they mention is the race/religion, etc. But a few middle-class white kids commit a racist attack and no one says “White Murders”. It equally makes me angry how the media manipulates race and ethnicity to back up the racist status quo.

    I’m friggin’ mad!!!


  24. “I’ve seen that since I was a kid on a playground 20 years ago, but they never called it ethnic intimidation until very recently.”

    Interesting quote by the lawyer, don’t you think? If he saw ‘this’ on the playground since 20 years ago, then he was party to what he calls ‘racial intimidation’ since 20 years ago. Which would make sense, if you think about it. He IS representing the defendant. Bloody bastard.


  25. Hey Jorge,

    Condolences are not much, but that’s all I have to offer to you and everyone who knew Luis. This is a sad, sad time not just for his family and friends, but all of humanity.

    And Abdul,
    Thanks again for the update.


  26. hey thanks for the update
    i have to let you guys know that i personally knew luis ramirez since we were back in mexico before he decide to came to us
    if you need any additional info let me know as i also ask you to keep me up to date > he was a great guy
    not violent at all


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