Two men fess up to charges that they slashed a Whitestone teen in mistaken identity case

Whitestone slashing 22
Photo by RHSNEWS

A Bayside and Pennsylvania man have pleaded guilty to assault charges in connection with the slashing of a Whitestone girl in 2015, prosecutors have announced.

Wilson Lai, 25, of the Oakland Gardens section of Bayside, and Devon Berkley, 39, of Allentown, PA, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault on Jan. 8, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. On Feb. 14, Lai will be sentenced to a 19-year prison sentence and Berkley to 18 years, each followed by five years of post-release supervision, prosecutors indicated.

According to the charges, Lai had a one-year relationship with a Whitestone girl, who was 14 at the time, that began in June 2013. Two and a half years later, Lai and Berkley conspired to assault the teenager.

On Dec. 16, 2015, Berkley twice slashed the face of a 14-year-old Chinese exchange student, who happened to live in the same residence as the intended target, as she walked towards school near 147th Street and 13th Avenue.

The victim was hospitalized and recovered from the violent attack, but was left with two long scars on the left side of her face.

Lai and Berkley were arrested in May 2016 — the result of a lengthy investigation by the 109th Precinct Detective Squad

“In pleading guilty, the defendants have admitted to a heinous attack on a teenage girl,” Brown said. “The victim in this case was not the target, but nonetheless she will forever be marred by the memory of what happened to her and the scars on her face. The defendants in the case deserve to be incarcerated as punishment for their crime.”