Bellerose mom defends son in club beating

A 105th Precinct police car is stationed along Union Turnpike near 248th Street in Glen Oaks where police say an assault occurred that ended in the victim's suffering from brain damage.
By Howard Koplowitz

The mother of a Bellerose teenager accused of attempted murder and assault stemming from a large fight that broke out near a Glen Oaks nightclub last week admitted that her son was involved in the brawl but said he acted in self-defense.

The victim in the March 21 brawl suffered extensive brain damage and was being treated at Long Island Jewish Medical Cente, police said.

Cynthia Toohill, the mother of 16-year-old Kevin Toohill, said she has hired a private investigator and is seeking witnesses to the fight that took place near The Blue Room, a nightclub/cafe at 248-13 Union Tnpk.

“They’re trying to piece back the puzzles,” she said of the private investigator.

A criminal complaint filed with the Queens district attorney’s office charged Kevin Toohill with attempted murder and assault.

“My son is getting charged with everything and I’m looking for help,” Cynthia Toohill said. “He’s 16 years old. I don’t know what to do.”

An eyewitness told police he saw Kevin Toohill, who is out on bail, punch the 27-year-old victim and then kick him in the head while he was trembling on the ground.

“It’s making my son look like a vicious killer,” Cynthia Toohill said of the charges. A man who lives near the scene of the fight said he saw at least 50 people involved in the fight.

Cynthia Toohill said she had names of other kids who participated in the brawl.

“There are so many other people involved,” she said. “There are other individuals who inflicted harm. [Kevin] certainly did not inflict the injuries that they’re stating here.”

Cynthia Toohill said her son was provoked.

“I just want it to be known my son was defending himself,” she said. “The victim had hit my son, threw a beer bottle at my son.”

She added, “There is so much more to this than what I read in the police blotter. It makes my son turn out to be a monster. He’s not a violent kid.”

Inspector Paul Piekarski, commanding officer of the 105th Precinct, told Community Board 13 that Kevin Toohill had been charged with assault before and that he was “no stranger to the police.”

Cynthia Toohill said her son got a call around 1 a.m. from a friend who said a fight “was about to go down.”

She said she called the 105th Precinct 20 minutes later to warn police about the impending brawl. A half hour later, Cynthia Toohill said her son was arrested.

“I just saw this coming,” she said.

Toohill acknowledged that her son punched the victim but denied he was responsible for the repeated kicks an eyewitness attributed to her son.

“My son never kicked him with the shoe,” she said. “We know who did kick him with the shoe, but my lawyer is telling me not to name names. There’s a lot of people who know exactly what happened and they’re afraid to come forward.”

“Unfortunately, my son hit him hard. It was one punch that my son made to this guy,” she said.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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