Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Ex Con gets 25 for Gay Bashing, NYC
A Brooklyn ex-con who viciously beat a gay man into a coma over a flirtatious comment was given the maximum sentence allowed for the hate crime.
"Hallelujah," victim Dwan Prince, 28, said yesterday after Supreme Court Justice Deborah Dowling sentenced Steven Pomie, 23, to two concurrent 25-year terms.
"My heart hurts. There is pain because I don't know what happened to me."
Prince, a former construction worker and fitness buff, was beaten so severely by Pomie and two others in front of his Brownsville building last summer that his left side is paralyzed and he has lost all memory of the attack.
"I was 27 years old, I was doing great, I had two jobs," he said in a slurred voice in court yesterday, before asking his mother, Valerie Prinez, to continue for him.
"Pomie beat down my son, he attempted to kill my son," Prinez said. "He took away my son's memory, he took away my son's brain ... his limbs. But he can't take away my son's soul."
Prosecutors say Pomie was strolling by Prince's home last June 8, wearing his girlfriend's pink tanktop, when he caught the victim's stare.
Pomie allegedly asked Prince, "What the f--- are you looking at?"
In a bias beating that shocked the city, Pomie, an alleged Crips member, pummeled Prince because his response enraged him.
Two other attackers were involved, but witnesses saw Pomie give a final, vicious blow to Prince's head that doctors said left his skull etched with scars. He remained in a coma for some time.
Just before Dowling imposed the sentence - 25 years for assault and 25 for assault as a hate crime - Prince used his one good hand to try to pass tissues to a sobbing Pomie.
"I did not commit these crimes. The person who did it is on the street," Pomie said, starting to cry. "What happened to Dwan was bad. I didn't have nothing to do with it. I'm sorry."
But Dowling would have none of it, marveling at "the amount of rage and horror from hands and feet" to cause such injuries.
Afterward, Prinez appealed to the public to get a motorized wheelchair and medications for her son, who limps and uses a cane as a result of the attack.
Pomie's lawyer vowed to appeal. Prosecutor Tom Ridges said police were still looking for the other attackers.
BY NANCIE L. KATZ
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER