MANHATTAN — The three Brooklyn men accused of brutally beating a 24-year-old man on MacDougal Street this past winter were acquitted of attempted murder Monday afternoon, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's office.
Hatem Farsakh, Mahmoud Habib and Sherif Rizk faced attempted murder charges after being accused of beating Kevin McCarron with a bat and tire iron in a videotaped attack near Bleecker Street about 5 a.m. on Jan. 13, leaving him with a fractured skull.
But a jury concluded Monday the men did not intend to kill McCarron.
Farsakh, 25, was convicted of first-degree gang assault, first-degree attempted gang assault and second-degree assault, according to a statement from the DA's office. He is considered a fugitive after he failed to appear in court before the trial began, the statement said.
Rizk, 23, was convicted of second-degree assault, and Habib, 30, was cleared of all charges, the statement said.
Habib's lawyer, Aymen A. Aboushi, praised the ruling.
“My client was wrongly accused of this crime, and I’m glad the jury saw the facts,” he said. "The prosecution tried to portray the story into something it wasn't."
The vicious attack left McCarron, a Massachussetts resident who sources said had been visiting New York with friends from Providence College, with permanent injuries, according to the New York Daily News.
“I’m still very tired. I still lose focus way easier than I used to,” he said during the trial, the News reported. “I don’t know if it’s ever going to be the way it used to be.”
Sources told DNAinfo New York that Farsakh, Rizk and friends approached McCarron and a group of his friends when a war of words ensued. The Providence bunch tried to defuse the situation by walking away, but Farsakh's group wouldn't retreat, sources added.
Farsakh's group then popped the trunk of a car they rode in and pulled out a bat and other weapons, which Farsakh and his friends used to pummel McCarron and his friends outside 95 MacDougal St., police said.
Farsakh told police the fight began when a member of McCarron's group used an anti-Arab racial slur.
Farsakh's lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, and Rizkh's lawyer, Spencer Leeds, were unavailable for comment on the verdict.
Farsakh and Rizk are set to be sentenced Nov. 7.