An alleged gang member from Corona pleaded guilty to slashing a man in the face in a White Castle in Elmhurst in 2017, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced Thursday.
Billy Lavayen, an alleged founding member of the gang Always Banging Kings, pleaded guilty to attempted assault on Thursday, Oct. 15, according to Katz.
Lavayen, who was one of several people to be prosecuted for the February 2017 attack, was arrested in November 2019, two years after being indicted. He faces up to 7 and a half years in prison, followed by five years post release supervision, according to the DA.
According to the charges, on Feb. 19, 2017, around 4 a.m., Lavayen and five others began to harass a 34-year-old man inside a White Castle located at 89-03 57th Ave., in Elmhurst. All six people in the group began to yell at the man, who was from Astoria, when Lavayen was handed a knife, according the DA. Lavayen then slashed the man from his eyebrow to his lip, the charges state.
When the man fell to the ground, the other five members of the group began to kick and punch him, Katz said.
The victim was taken a nearby hospital where he was given 30 stitches. The knife wound left him with permanent facial nerve damage, according to the DA.
Lavayen’s cousin, Jose Lavayen, 31, was one of the members of the group who attacked the man. He was sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of gang assault in 2018.
According to the DA, Lavayen was on the run immediately following the attack, until his arrest in 2019.
The remaining four members of the group were sentenced to conditional discharge up to five years in prison.