QUEENS — A Queens nightclub bouncer accused of brutally beating a man who later died was attacked by the victim who had been tossed from the venue for raucous behavior earlier in the evening, the doorman's lawyer said in documents filed in Queens Supreme Court.
John Pappalardo, the attorney for bouncer Kristian Sorbera, 27, filed a petition asking for his client to be released based on new evidence he had obtained. The document was also sent to the Queens District Attorney’s office, Pappalardo said.
The lawyer claims he has a witness who is ready to testify that Sorbera was attacked by Deosarran Ramdular, 24, outside Moka Night Club & Lounge on 91st Avenue in South Richmond Hill at 4:15 a.m. March 18.
Sorbera has been charged with assault, but the case is being heard by a grand jury, which could upgrade the charges, according to the document filed in court.
On the night of March 18, Ramdular, an air conditioning technician, was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital immediately following the incident and was pronounced brain dead a few days later. He was taken off life support on March 24.
Officials from the Medical Examiner's office said that Ramdular's cause of death had been ruled a homicide.
According to the criminal complaint, Sorbera allegedly kicked the victim in the face and neck, leaving him with multiple facial fractures, cuts and severe brain damage.
But in the document filed Wednesday, Pappalardo claims that an eyewitness painted a different picture.
The witness said that Ramdular and his friend stopped Sorbera’s car when it was slowing down for a light at the intersection of 92nd Avenue and 130th Street, one block away from the club.
“The two men began punching the vehicle and banging on the driver’s window, yelling threats and curses,” according to the document.
After he got out, Sorbera, who was on his way home, was punched by Ramdular and then punched back several times, his lawyer said in the document quoting the eyewitness. Sorbera then drove away.
The witness said that he did not see the bouncer kicking the victim. He also said that when Sorbera drove away, Ramdular "was standing and conscious," according to the document.
A video recording taken from a nearby house shows a man kicking another man who is lying on the ground. But the video, submitted by the Queens District Attorney's Office, is of a low quality and grainy and does not clearly identify the men, the lawyer said in the document.
According to the document, which cites witnesses, earlier that night Ramdular and his friend had been kicked out of the club at approximately 2:30 a.m. "for fighting with other patrons of the club, groping women, spraying them with alcohol, and throwing bottles."
The document also claims that another video from a surveillance camera installed at a business across the street shows that after Ramdular and his friend were kicked out from the club, they were involved in a physical altercation with about 15 people for approximately one hour.
Ramdular got knocked down on several occasions, the document said. Sorbera did not participate in that fight, the document said.
Nevertheless, according to the document, witnesses said that Ramdular repeatedly threatened Sorbera, telling him that he was a "dead man" and that he was "going to die tonight."
Ramdular's father, 62-year-old Ramdular Baboolall, dismissed the self-defense claim. "My son would never attack anybody," Baboolall said Wednesday.
Sorbera is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Officials from the Queens District Attorney’s office said they were not allowed to comment on grand jury proceedings because they are secret.