Oren Yaniv from NY Daily News reports
A Brooklyn jury will have to decide if an immigrant who went on trial for assault Wednesday was a violent aggressor or a gay-bashing victim protecting himself.
Ricardo Muniz, 23, is charged with putting 65-year-old Jose Cruz in a coma during a wild brawl in July 2009 that he claims started after the older man made repeated homophobic remarks.
Prosecutors claim Cruz merely complimented Muniz on his dancing when the two crossed paths during a boozy night in a Church Ave. bar.
By the end of the fight, Cruz was “lying flat on his back, unable to defend himself, and the defendant strikes him three time with a blunt wooden object,” said assistant district attorney Ronald Snyder.
“You decide who’s the violent thug here,” defense attorney Deron Castro told the jury. “There are plenty of times when the bully ends up getting injured.”
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