Opening statements began Tuesday in an assault case against five Rockville Centre teens accused of attacking a man who was defending his wife.
Matthew Diperna, William Moore, Kevin Coyle, Nolan Kelly, and William Nelson appeared in court Tuesday as prosecutors and defense attorneys began the trial over an incident that continues to shake Rockville Centre over a year later.
Police said in June 2012, the five teens made sexually suggestive comments to a 44-year-old woman walking her dog on Roxen Road. She reported the incident to her husband, John Woythaler, who drove back to find the teens and make them apologize. The five are accused of brutally attacking Woythaler, who was rushed by Rockville Centre Police to Mercy Medical Center for broken ribs, multiple contusions and injuries to the face and jaw, and a concussion, officials said.
Meanwhile, defense attorneys claimed the teens were defending themselves against Woythaler.
“You have a bunch of teenaged boys who are chased down by a grown man, and regardless of what the DA says that man got out of a car and grabbed an 18-year-old boy,” defense attorney John Lewis told CBS.
While gang assault charges were dropped, all five defendants still face second- and third-degree attempted assault charges, according to the DA's office.
The trial will continue Wednesday, said the DA's office. Judge Christopher Quinn is presiding over the case.
Previous stories on the Roxen Road assault:
- Police: Group of Teens Attacked Man on Roxen Road
- Gang Assault Charge Dropped Against Roxen Road Defendants
- Verdict Still Out in Roxen Road Assault
- Residents, RD React to Roxen Road Assault
- Mayor Murray: My Concerns on the Roxen Road Assault