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East Village Parking Fight That Left Woman In Coma Heads To Trial

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35-year-old Oscar Fuller claimed he struck Rosas in self-defense. (Credit: CBS 2)

35-year-old Oscar Fuller claimed he struck Rosas in self-defense. (Credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- An electrician charged with hitting a woman in a fight over a Manhattan parking spot is headed for a trial, saying he was defending himself and didn’t anticipate that she would end up in a coma.

An Oct. 24 trial date was set Thursday in Oscar Fuller’s assault case.

Fuller, 35, and Lana Rosas, who is in her mid-20s, got into an argument as he tried to park his van in the East Village in February. She was standing in the space to save it for her boyfriend.

Prosecutors said Fuller punched Rosas, who is under 5 feet tall, “in the face with so much force that the woman flew off her feet, was knocked unconscious and hit her head on the ground.” She was in a coma for a time. An update on her condition wasn’t immediately available Thursday.

Fuller told police he punched Rosas in the face only after she swung at him two or three times, according to a court document.

His lawyer, Thomas A. Kenniff, said surveillance video shows that she approached him and instigated the fight. Fuller suffered injuries to his face, Kenniff said.

“We think that when a jury hears the case, they’re going to conclude that my client was not the initial aggressor and that the unfortunate injuries sustained by (Rosas) were neither intended nor foreseeable,” Kenniff said Thursday.

Her family has denounced the suggestion that Rosas spurred the violence.

“She’s 4-foot-11. How is she the aggressor?” her mother, Angie, told the New York Post in March. “It doesn’t matter what she said to him or what he said back. … He hit her hard enough to shake her brain.”

“They’re saying it was so powerful a hit,” Fuller told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis in March. “I hit this girl one time.”

Fuller also told reporters later in March he was “very, very sorry for the situation she’s going through.”

If convicted, he could face up to seven years in prison.

How do you believe the trial will play out?  Share your thoughts in the comments section…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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