Homeless vet gets a year in prison for assaulting gay couple in Brooklyn
A 61-year-old homeless veteran from Queens was sentenced to a year in prison on Friday for assaulting and harassing a gay couple on Brooklyn streets.
Loudal Baez, from Maspeth, previously pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and aggravated harassment charges in August for a hate-fueled attack on a man in Fort Greene.
“It’s just an unfortunate turn of events which landed me in front of you,” Baez told Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun in Brooklyn Supreme Court. “I’ve learned from my mistakes,” he said while shrugging his shoulders.
Baez approached the couple near Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street on Feb. 28 and said to one man, “You are a f—-t.” He then grabbed a nearby stick and broke it over the man’s hip, according to court documents.
The victim suffered from bruising while Baez fled to eventually be caught by the cops the same night.
“This defendant assaulted an innocent man who was simply walking down the street with his husband, for no other reason than the victim’s sexual orientation,” Acting Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez said in a statement.
Baez originally faced additional charges, including menacing and weapon possession, but the counts were dismissed.
Defense attorney Martin Gorfinkel said in court that before his arrest, Baez was a veteran living on the streets.
Despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attempts to lower the number of homeless people on the street, this year the city counted the most homeless since 2005.
There were 3,892 homeless people on the street in February, up 39 percent from last year, according to the Homeless Outreach Population Estimate.
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