By LAUREN KEATING & SHAKIRA SEALEY
A 16-year-old alleged gang banger accused of shooting two persons at the Bryant Park ice skating rink was arraigned on attempted murder charges Tuesday.
Corey Dunton of the Bronx entered the courtroom dressed in a brown prison outfit and with disheveled hair, He turned to the audience and smirked before sitting down next to his attorney.
Dunton pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, assault and criminal weapon possession.
But Manhattan prosecutors revealed in court that the defendant gave them an incriminating hand-written statement apologizing for accidentally shooting and seriously injuring a bystander, Adonis Mera, 14.
Authorities allege that Dunton opened fire at the crowded Midtown rink last month while trying to steal an expensive coat from the other victim, Javier Contreras, 20, who was targeted for his $600 coat; Contreras has a bullet lodged in his thigh, attends physical therapy and can no longer work at his job at a fish market where he was required to stand all day.
Manhattan Assistant DA James Lin urged the court to consider the maximum sentence of 25 years on each count. “Dunton is destroying the dreams of younger victims,” said Lin.
Lin cited to Judge Renee A. White the Facebook posts by Dunton shortly before his arrest that read, “ Feds at my door I’m going out with a bang! Take my soul.”
Defense Attorney Sam Roberts labeled the posts “exaggerations” and noted that his client did not resist arrest.
The 14-year-old victim’s mother attended the arraignment. “ I wanted to see the animal who shot my son,” Arislensis Martinez,44, told reporters outside the courtroom. “I wanted to rip his head off. As of now, my son still can’t walk.”
The next hearing was scheduled for December 20.
Photo by Lauren Keating of Arislensis Martinez.