By Ivan Pereira
A Jamaica man contended he was defending himself after he was charged by the authorities with putting a woman in a coma two weeks ago over a parking spot.
Following a grand jury indictment in Manhattan Criminal Court Monday, Oscar Fuller, 35, was remorseful over Lana Rosas’ condition, but was still adamant that he did not intentionally mean to hurt her.
Fuller told reporters outside the court that he was acting in self-defense when he got into a scuffle with Rosas in the East Village two weeks ago.
“She hit first and like we know, there’s cameras everywhere inside New York City,” he said.
On Feb. 25, Fuller and Rosas, who is 4 feet 11 inches tall, got into an argument over a parking space, the criminal complaint said. Rosas, 24, was allegedly holding the space for her boyfriend at 14th Street between Avenues A and B around 11:30 p.m., according to police.
The argument got physical quickly and Fuller, who stands 5 feet 7 inches tall, punched Rosas so hard that she “flew off of her feet, was knocked unconscious and hit her head on the ground” before leaving the scene, the criminal complaint said.ï»¿
Rosas was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where her skull had to be reopened to relieve some of the pressure from the wound, according to the criminal complaint. She was in a coma as of press time Tuesday and, if she survives, may have pre-eminent brain damage, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.
Fuller apologized to Rosas and her loved ones following his court appearance.
“To the family, I am very sorry for the situation that she’s going through right now and I’m hoping for a speedy recovery,” he told reporters.
Fuller was arrested March 1 and arraigned on assault charges. He was released on $100,000 bail Saturday and has been proclaiming his innocence in the case.
Fuller contended Rosas assaulted him first and he did not think his retaliatory hit was that forceful.
“It crushed my whole family. It crushes my life as well that nobody would think anything would happen, that it would go this far,” he said following his Monday court appearance.
Fuller was ordered to return to court April 7, the Manhattan DA’s office said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.