DA: Ridge hate crime suspect faces 15 years

An unhinged man who shouted racial obscenities as he stabbed a black male with a fork inside a Bay Ridge diner will be facing 15 years in prison once he’s indicted on hate crime charges later today, District Attorney Charles Hynes said.

Prosecutors say Nicholas Melo jumped his victim following a heated argument inside the Bridgeview Diner on Third Avenue near 90th Street on Nov. 5, 2011.

The victim told police that he was inside the diner with two female friends at 2:45 am when Melo approached and started screaming at the young ladies — who were white — calling them “N—– loving b——.”

Melo then started to hurl racial epithets at his victim, investigators claim.

Investigators say Melo threw a punch, which did not connect, then snatched a fork off the table and began stabbing his victim, leaving the man with deep puncture wounds to his head and back.

Melo had run off by the time cops were called. Detectives began investigating the apparent hate crime, but didn’t grab their suspect until he was nabbed for allegedly committing a slew of traffic violations on Marine Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway on April 13.

Police allegedly stopped Melo after he made an illegal U-turn as he held his cellphone up to his ear. Cops then ran Melo’s license — only to learn that it had been suspended.

Prosecutors say Melo will be charged with assault in the second degree as a hate crime when he faces a criminal court judge today. Attempts to reach Melo’s attorney were not successful by our midnight deadline.

Reach Deputy Editor Thomas Tracy at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2525.