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One witness was all that was needed by attorneys to get an acquittal for the nephew of state Sen. Marty Golden, who was charged with assaulting a pair of off-duty cops and a firefighter.
A team of defense attorneys representing Daniel Golden and co-defendants Kevin Crowley, Michael Crowley, Peter Jung, and John DeCarlo produced a friend of the group who witnessed the bloody 2010 Bay Ridge fight after weeks of blowing holes through the prosecution’s case — claiming all the while that the victims and the police had tampered with evidence.
They then rested, and watched as multiple juries acquitted Golden, Kevin Crowley and John DeCarlo, who were all sent home free men on Friday afternoon.
Jung was acquitted on Monday but Michael Crowley was convicted of a misdemeanor crime — for having the knife used in the bloody attack.
Judge Mark Dwyer, who presided over four juries that would determine the fate of the men, said that the group was only guilty of bad judgement.
“They are obviously responsible for very stupid behavior,” Dwyer said on Monday.
The five men were looking at three and a half years in jail for allegedly attacking NYPD cop Paul Aparo, Port Authority Police Officer Ryan McCarthy, and FDNY firefighter Rosario Cicero at the Kettle Black bar on Third Avenue and 87th Street.
But Michael Cibella, a lawyer for DeCarlo — who the prosecution accused of busting a bottle over Aparo’s skull and slugging McCarthy — said Aparo and McCarthy attacked his client first and then tried to cover up their actions by altering surveillance footage.
“They did what they did because they were cops and thought they could get away with it,” Cibella said. “There was a concerted effort to protect the police officers involved in this case.”
Arthur Aidala, who represented Golden, said his client was overjoyed with the jury’s acquittal.
“You have no idea the sense of relief we feel that this is behind us,” Aidala said. “We’re just happy that the criminal aspect of the case against Daniel Golden is over and he is moving on with his life.”
Cibella said the Kettle Black surveillance tapes initially showed Aparo stampeding out of the bar “looking for blood,” but that minute-long scene wasn’t provided to the police. Jasmin Pontic, a high school friend of Aparo’s who works for the security company monitoring the Kettle Black’s cameras, deleted that segment before it was handed over to investigators, Cibella claims, adding that phone records prove Aparo called Pontic repeatedly hours after the brawl. Pontic was ultimately arrested for doctoring the footage.
Investigators say DeCarlo punched Aparo during an argument inside the corner bar. Off-duty Firefighter Rosario Cicero and off-duty Port Authority Police Officer Ryan McCarthy quickly jumped to the officer’s aid, as Golden and his cousins backed DeCarlo.
Bouncers threw everyone outside, but, when McCarthy tried to jot down a defendant’s license plate number, DeCarlo, the son of an NYPD detective, allegedly slugged him, even though cops say McCarthy had his police shield out.
“I don’t give a f---,” DeCarlo allegedly said as he and Golden allegedly pounded on Ryan, leaving him with a broken jaw.
Prosecutors say Kevin Crowley slashed Cicero’s arm as he tried to defend McCarthy.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes refused to take the case against Golden’s family claiming that the defendants’ connection to the law-and-order Republican legislator — a former cop — constituted a conflict of interest.
The case was passed off to Queens prosecutor Michael Brovner, who told jurors that Golden’s relatives instigated the fight that spilled out into the street.
“[Golden and his companions] weren’t out to have a good time, they were out to do whatever they wanted to do,” Brovner said. “They escalated and ramped up the situation.”
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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