New York Daily News

July 30, 2010



 

Cops' outrage as teen at center of Times Sq. Easter melee goes free

By Melissa Grace
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

A teen at the center of the Times Square Easter night melee got a big break Thursday - a no-jail plea deal - and cops are outraged.

Jermaine Parker, 19, admitted he assaulted a female officer who suffered a concussion, and another cop whose wrist was sprained.

"The plea bargain in this case is a disgraceful slap-on-the wrist," Patrolmen's Benevelent Association President Patrick Lynch said.

"This miscreant's willful participation in a wilding episode created a situation that caused serious injuries to two police officers who were protecting innocent bystanders," Lynch said.

Prosecutors, the defense lawyer and judge agreed to the deal, saying Parker, a student with no criminal record, acted out of "stupidity."

"The prosecution has realized this was just a piece of stupidity and he [the prosecutor] is hoping you'll just get over it," Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman told Parker.

"We can call it stupid, but when you hurt somebody ... it's a crime."

As long as Parker is not re-arrested, stays in school and keeps his job flipping burgers, the felony charges against him will be reduced in a year to misdemeanor resisting arrest counts and he will be put on probation.

"The defendant pled guilty to the two most serious charges against him," said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance's chief deputy, Daniel Alonso.

Prosecutors said Parker - who was carrying a knife when he was arrested - has no gang ties and attends his church regularly.

Alonso insisted the plea holds Parker "accountable" and allows him to avoid a permanent felony conviction for his "first and only contact with the law."

Prosecutors said Parker did not intentionally hurt the cops and that they were injured as he tried to flee and they tackled him.

Parker was one of dozens of teens arrested April 4 as they rampaged through Times and Herald Squares.

"Because I was fighting," Parker responded when the judge asked if he understood why he was arrested.

She demanded to know if he resisted arrested and assaulted the two cops.

"Yes, ma'am'," he said.

In addition to vowing to stay out of trouble, Parker agreed to do eight days of community service and undergo counseling.

"He got into a dispute with [Leroy-jama] Wigfall and it all got out of control," Parker's lawyer, James Montgomery, said of a second teen who previously pleaded guilty to resisting arrest charges.

"The cops did the right thing, they stepped in to break it up."

"On his behalf, I apologize to the officers in question," the lawyer said.

Police made 33 arrests and issued 23 summonses during the April 4 mayhem in Times and Herald squares.

Four people were shot in three separate instances, though only one suspect, Rayvon Guice, 20, has been linked to a shooting.

A trial date was set in his case for Sept. 22.