Victim’s Father Ejected from Court After Outburst
NEW YORK (AP) _ The father of a black youth slain in an attack by a white gang was ejected from court after he shouted at a judge who allowed four of the five defendants to remain free on bail.
Moses Stewart, father of 16-year-old Yusuf Hawkins, began yelling at the judge as he and Hawkins’ mother, Diane Hawkins, stood to leave after Monday’s arraignment.
″You handkerchief-headed nigger 3/8″ Stewart yelled at Justice Thaddeus Owens. ″You let murderers walk home free.″
Owens ordered officers to remove Stewart, who was already on his way out and muttered, ″letting murderers walk home,″ as the family’s supporters were escorted from the court.
James Patino, 24; Keith Mondello, 18; Pasquale Raucci, 19; and Joseph Serrano, 19, were freed on bail after pleading innocent to murder and other charges in the racial attack that occurred in their Bensonhurst neighborhood.
About two hours after the pleas, the fifth defendant and alleged triggerman, Joseph Fama, 18, pleaded innocent and was ordered back to jail without bail.
Hawkins was shot to death Aug. 23 when he and three friends were surrounded by a gang of about 30 white youths. The black teen-agers had gone to the mostly white Brooklyn neighborhood in response to an advertisement for a used car.
Owens refused a prosecution request, based on a new indictment, to raise or revoke the $75,000 bail for Serrano and Patino, as well as a later request from Fama’s attorney to set bail at $200,000.
Fama’s attorney, David DePetris, argued that his client had never before been arrested and denied that Fama was the gunman. Assistant District Attorney Paul Burns said Fama was identified as the shooter ″by people who have known him all his life.″
Mondello told police the day after the killing that he saw Fama shoot the gun, according to a statement released Monday.
″I heard one shot from my left,″ Mondello said. ″I looked and I saw Joey Fama pointing a gun and saw him shoot the gun three more times. I saw the blue flash at the black. I then saw the black fall to the ground.″
Mondello is out on $100,000 bail and Raucci is out on $75,000 bail.
The prosecutor said he was not legally able to ask for any change in their bail because the charges against them had not changed.