By KATELYN HRUBY & SALVATORE ROMANO
The arraignment of the last of three defendants accused in the savage Greenwich Village beating leaving a tourist near death occurred Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court.
Hatem Farsakh, charged with attempted murder and assault pleaded not guilty in the brawl that incapacitated, 24-year-old Andover, Massachusetts native, Kevin McCarron early on January 13th.
Police said that Farsakh, part of a gang of eight including co-defendants Sherif Rizk and Mahmoud Habib, pummeled McCarron with a baseball bat, a tire iron, and blackjacks, fracturing the young tourist’s skull. McCarron and his group of six friends walked out of Artichoke’s Pizza around 5 a.m. on MacDougal St. to find a man sitting on his car, apparently sparking the confrontation.
McCarron was left in critical condition, and according to police and his family, may endure permanent damage to his motor skills. Officials are waiting for updates on McCarron’s condition to ascertain if he will be fit to testify in the case.
Defense lawyers argue that the defendant was eating a falafel at a nearby restaurant when he glimpsed the brawl breaking out outside and then rushed to intervene.
James Kirshner, Farsakh’s attorney, said that new evidence presented at the arraignment would verify Farsakh’s alibi. Assistant DA Emily Auletta unveiled four surveillance DVDs from businesses on MacDougal St., in addition to one witness’s cell phone video that’s already gone viral. According to Kirshner, the DVDs will solve the “question of what level of involvement he had.”
The case was adjourned until April 16th. Farsakh could face up to 25 years if convicted.