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Troubles against Flatbush State Senator Kevin Parker continue to mount as more and more criminal charges are being filed in connection with last month’s violent exchange with a New York Post photographer.
Prosecutors announced Friday that a grand jury has indicted Parker on assault in the second degree −− a charge that could sentence him to seven years in prison if he’s convicted −− as well as criminal mischief, menacing and harassment.
The new charge carries more weight than the felony criminal mischief charges Parker was initially facing during his confrontation with William Lopez on May 8. At that time, he was facing four years in jail if convicted.
Lopez had been assigned to take a photo of Parker outside the Avenue H home he was facing foreclose on when the seven−year legislator chased the shutterbug in a fit of rage.
Parker reportedly pursued Lopez around the corner to the photographer’s car and leapt in after him when he jumped inside, officials alleged.
In the ensuing struggle, Parker broke the lensman’s flash. He also kicked out the interior door panel to Lopez’s 1998 Subaru Forester, according to a complaint filed with the Kings County District Attorney’s office.
Lopez reportedly suffered a swollen middle finger during the clash.
Cops took Parker in for questioning. After Lopez filed a complaint, Parker was charged with criminal mischief, as well as misdemeanor assault and harassment, they said.
Yet, according to law enforcement sources, police had already been dispatched to Parker’s home that night to make sure Lopez wasn’t harassing Parker.
“A sergeant and two officers were sent there to handle the press and the press was cooperating, but Parker charged them anyway,” the source said. “[Parker] was out of his mind. He should be slammed for what he did.”
Officials from the Kings County District Attorney’s office said that they had no sway over what charges the grand jury indicted Parker on. During the grand jury hearings and deliberations, which are sealed, jurors are given a field of charges to select as long as they feel the evidence warrants it, prosecutors said.
Neither Parker nor his attorney Lonnie Hart would comment on the indictment.
However, during an interview with New York 1, Parker showed no ill will toward the D.A.’s office.
“The thing is, this is a process,” he said. “The D.A. is doing the appropriate thing by going through the process. I have my attorneys working hard on my side. And hopefully we’ll get to a resolution of this thing and I look forward to my day in court,” said Parker.
Some of Parker’s colleagues showed surprise over the increased charges. One legislator even commented that he did not believe Parker’s actions could substantiate an assault charge.
Upon his arrest, Parker was stripped of his State Senate position of Majority Whip, as well as his chairmanship of the Energy Committee.
Last month’s arrest was not the first time Parker’s been in trouble with the law.
In 2005, he was arrested for allegedly punching a traffic enforcement agent giving him a ticket. The charges were ultimately dropped when Parker agreed to undergo anger management counseling.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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