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Two plead guilty to minor charges in HB melee – QNS.com

Two plead guilty to minor charges in HB melee

Three of the five suspects in the Halloween-night melee in a Howard Beach McDonald’s have had their cases adjourned in contemplation of dismissal, and two will receive probation after entering guilty pleas on minor charges at a hearing on Friday, March 28, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
After an egg-tossing incident that spiraled into a racially tinged confrontation, the men were part of a group of blacks and Hispanics who allegedly chased Joseph Friedman, 16, who is white, into the McDonald’s and bashed him in the head with a broom handle, prosecutors had said.
George Morales, 25; Patrick Pugh, 18; Terrance Scott, 18; Talique Jackson, 16 and Victor Tossas, 16, had at first been charged with felony assault in the October 31 incident outside a McDonald’s on Cross Bay Boulevard near 160th Avenue.
Charges were reduced after witnesses were unable to identify any of the accused men at the scene, except for one positive identification of Tossas. According to statements by attorneys during preliminary hearings, Tossas was not identified as being inside the fast-food restaurant where the assault actually took place.
The case was thrown for a loop recently when DNA tests on the defendants failed to yield a match with evidence.
The DNA tests on the five were the subject of heated debate between defense attorneys and prosecutors. The defense initially didn’t want DNA samples even taken from the teens, until they had exhausted every appeal. It turned out to be the defense’s strongest weapon.
Tossas pleaded guilty to attempted assault in the third degree. He will be sentenced to three years probation at a May 6 hearing and now has youthful offender status.
Pugh, who had been jailed for three months until his bail was reduced, accepted a conviction on the least severe degree of criminal mischief and agreed to make restitution of $88. He had kicked out the window of a police car while in custody.
The adjournment of the case against Morales, Scott and Jackson means that if they stay out of trouble for six months, the charges will be dropped.

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