Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Teens plead not guilty in YouTube beatdown
of homeless man

Two teen-agers charged with an attack on a homeless man in Pompano Beach that was filmed and posted online have pleaded not guilty.

Those men -- Nicholas Bakum, 19, of Lighthouse Point, and William Sleight, 19, of Deerfield Beach -- are among four suspects accused of roughing up 54-year-old James Cunningham. Sleight allegedly filmed the attack on his cellphone as the three other men taunted, smacked, pushed, dragged, and yelled at Cunningham.

Bakum's lawyer, James Stark, argued authorities have portrayed the incident inaccurately. "Just take a close look at the video," he said. "There's nothing even close to a vicious beating."

Sleight's lawyer, Bradley Collins, said the charges against Sleight are unwarranted, saying Sleight never touched Cunningham. He said he is looking into whether Cunningham was a trespasser the day of the incident.

In response to the lawyers' comments, Dani Moschella, a spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff's Office, said: "I'm going to let the video speak for itself."

Read the Miami Herald report here. And see previous post here.

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