Trial Opens In East Village Parking Spat That Put Woman In Coma

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — When a man and a woman locked horns over a Manhattan parking space last winter, their fight put her in a coma and him under arrest.

The man, Oscar Fuller, was only protecting himself after the woman attacked him, his lawyer told jurors as Fuller’s trial opened Monday. But prosecutors said Fuller acted out of rage and retaliation, not self-defense.

Fuller, a 35-year-old electrician, was heading to a birthday party his family was throwing for him when he got into an argument with Lana Rosas on Feb. 25.

He was trying to park his van in a spot in the East Village. Rosas, who was planning to go out to dinner with her boyfriend, was standing in the space to save it for him.

Prosecutors say Fuller punched the petite Rosas — who’s 8 inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter than he — in the face so hard that she was knocked unconscious and off her feet. She fell and hit her head on the pavement, suffering a skull fracture and spending almost a week in a coma, Assistant District Attorney John “Artie” McConnell said in his opening statement.

Fuller drove away and went to the birthday party, the prosecutor said. He was arrested four days later.

“This was a deliberate, intentional, unwarranted attack by a grown man against a 25-year-old woman who isn’t even 5 feet tall,” McConnell told jurors.

But Fuller’s lawyer, Thomas A. Kenniff, said the electrician was justified in using force after Rosas ran up and attacked him, hitting him repeatedly. Fuller’s face was cut and bloodied, he said.

“Big or small, male or female, no one has the right to put their hands on anyone else” in such a situation, Kenniff told jurors in his opening.

McConnell said it wasn’t clear who struck the first blow, but regardless, he said Fuller’s actions were unjustified.

Rosas spent months in various hospitals, still faces further procedures and doesn’t remember much of the last year, McConnell said.

Fuller told reporters 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.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. C. Rosado says:

    No she has no right to hit him…seriously I doubt her fist could have put a hurting on anything. But his ego most people in his position as I too had a car and done the same thing. Only you could have driven off as he done once he saw her boyfriend coming. As that would have been a fair fight in strength. He rode off after he smashed her head on the ground to attend his birthday bash. Again what human being would do such a thing. Over a dam parking space had she a weapon I could see the defense. Is not going to work in our court system guys – sorry! Men are just upset they can’t get away with hitting women. This whole thing went too far and if he were a real man – he would have circled the block after saying what he needed even cursed her out. Yet he went as far as getting out the vehicle and approached her – maybe she too felt intimidated. Color doesn’t matter here – is the law to avoid such situation and I don’t think he did. Why not call the police if he felt threaten – is how men handle things – well is how the law perceives these unfortunate incidents. You can walk away – bet he beats his girlfriend too. May God bless this woman as no one should have to go through this horror. Sue him as well for this will teach them both a lesson never to be forgotten. Hope all you folks out there with road rage are listening – is not worth fighting for a parking spot.

  2. Weygand says:

    Without a doubt, had she not resorted to physical violence the defendant wouldn’t have had to defend himself. Face it….the woman started it and when she tried to escalate to a physical confrontation “girl power” failed her immensely.

    Furthermore, it is the height of d-baggedness to hold a parking spot by standing in it.
    I HATE THAT

  3. She Deserved It says:

    She’s the instigator by holding the spot. What kind of woman would hold a spot firm even if the guy aggressively demands for the spot. Since she did not let it go, I strongly believe she further instigated the situation by lashing out and probably threw the first punch. Its unfortunate she got hurt badly and turns out she was not armed with a dangerous weapon, but hindsight is 20/20. Who knows during the situation and gut reaction of self defense is to take out the attacker which is what this gentleman did This is similar to the mcdonalds cashier taking out the 2 woman that jumped him in the store. Self defense!

    1. Selective says:

      No actually he did when he stepped out the vehicle maybe she felt threaten and reacted as well. No one deserves this he will go to prison for he could have drove off and avoided the whole unfortunate scenario. He left as he said when he saw her boyfriend coming – what a real man he is huh? As you said no weapon what real danger did the 4’11” posed to a man 5’7″? Had she a bat, gun or knife OK great defense. Is not similar as the McDonald’s as it was 1 chick not 2 dear.

  4. Blackheywood Heywood says:

    Since she is 8inches shorter and 50 lbs lighter than perhaps she should behave that way. This woman a total stranger hit a man,he knocks her out. I’s say she learned or should;ve learned her lesson. Now we have an inept,racist District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr whose office believes Black man cannot defend themselves. I hope the jury acquits Mr,Fuller and he Civilly sue Lana Rosas. Cy Vance office has inherited hatred for Black citizens of NYS.

    1. Selective says:

      Are you Black? No real man would have been confrontational with a 4’11″chick. Yet ran off when he saw her boyfriend coming. Her fists could have not hurt him so much as he partied afterwards. Needless to say found parking obviously so he will see how our court systems work here. Had she a weapon I could see the defense and he can’t sue her for he didn’t file chargers if any til after the fact. Also he isn’t scarred, however she could. Glad she is out of coma, but a long recovery ahead all for a dam parking space. Road rage is a killer not the DA so stop making it a racial issue and find out more about NYC laws – like it or not. Maybe she felt threaten when he stepped out the car.. Black, White, Chinese or Latin a real man would have cursed her out and kept it moving dude.

  5. cantmakeitup says:

    Check out the gender disparity. The article states “a grown man” hitting a woman. Last I checked, 25 is also a grown woman…so she has the right to strike him?

    1. Biased Article says:

      CBS reporting and bias at its usual worse. News reporting these days are very editorial!

    2. Selective says:

      No, but he could have avoided the situation by driving off and finding another parking space that he eventually did can’tmakeitup. He became confrontational when he stepped out that car and he will pay.

  6. rightisright says:

    I’m a lady…..and guess what? I behave like one. When you cross the lline and think that your vagina is a ticket to lash out at anyone (men included) with no repercussions, you are wrong. I have seen these little fiesty, Judge Judy wannabe yelpers who believe that they can do and say anything and get away with it. Well I guess she learned the hard way that the rules apply to her too. And believe you me, those little Hispanic women are the worst! She got what she deserved.

    1. Selective says:

      No, you are not as a real lady wouldn’t be speaking the way you are. And what line are you talking about the one your boyfriend or husband drew for you. He could have drove off and not approached her rightisright you are so wrong. You will see what our laws says and getting racial isn’t becoming. Don’t stereo type Hispanic woman and as a woman you should be a shame Black or White. Would you like being punched in the face for what you just said? Freedom of Speech allows us to express ourselves dear. Go Judge Judy!

  7. truthhurts says:

    I’m tired of people defending this lady because men do not hit women. That rule existed in the good old days when women would act like ladies according to the traditions of the time. Now a days women feel themselves equal to men physically and mentally. Unfortunately a few women find out the hard way that this is not the case physically. When you attack a man, you should expect to be hit like a man. As a woman I am fully aware of these consequences and there for I do not start what I can’t finish. What is wrong is the fact that he left the scene after punching her to get her off him knocking her unconscious and did not bother to call an ambulance.

    1. Selective says:

      A real man would have never stepped out the car – cursed her out and found another parking space truthhurts. What you men don’t like is you can’t beat women period. He was shocked she hit him maybe she was threaten when he approached her. He is WRONG and will do time may also be sued. She has no right on hitting him true, but he could have kept riding until he found another spot as eventually he had. Seriously for a parking spot…Did she have a weapon – nope so where was the real danger when he saw a real man – her boyfriend coming.

  8. Meme Meyagi says:

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  9. SR says:

    LETS REMEMBER SHE WAS HOLDING A PARKING SPOT FOR SOMEONE. IM SURE SOME OF YOU HAVE BEEN IN THAT SITUATION WHEN SOMEBODY YOU KNOW IS HOLDING ONE FOR YOU SHOULDNT BE ASSULTED..

    1. Michael H. says:

      You shouldn’t be assaulted but a citation is in order as it is illegal to hold a spot in NYC by standing in it.

    2. Selective says:

      Yes I have only I rode away after cursing them out or sticking a finger SR. And today I was never in the hospital or facing prison time. This is sad all for a dam parking spot – don’t you get it – road rage! Did you ever think she too felt threatened by him approaching her.

  10. Jenny says:

    That’s what ya get for trying to hold a spot in NYC by standing in it…..

    That’s not how things work here boys n girls!!!

    1. Selective says:

      Well Jenny you will see how things work here in the court of law and you being a woman should be a shame. She had no right true, but he didn’t have to step out his vehicle to prove his manhood. This could have been avoided obviously he found a parking space to go party later huh? .I don’t say hitting him was right, but he could have kept moving. Now he is deeply apologizing and so should you as no one deserves this let alone for a dam parking space. What world you living – don’t act like the ghetto it doesn’t become you.

  11. joeyinnyc says:

    He is so ghetto! A grown man. A maybe electrician! A black thug on his way to his birthday party ( A MAJOR GHETTO PRIORITY!) So the woman tries to act tough like a man ( give him the benefit of a doubt ) isnt he smart enough to know that SHE is not A HE!!? He doesnt realize he doesnt have to prove to himself how much of a man is he by punching her and putting her in a coma!? or if he that kind of man? Does no one listent to him and this was an opportunity to be heard? Was he so or is he just an angry black man? This nonsence has to stop. Somewhere along the line, he was so misguided in his thinking. He seems to live in some sort of justified mental syndrome. Well, he now gets to justify again. In Court. If its Manhattan court, the residents wont have it. If he is tried in the bronx, well, he will get some jurors, who can justify almost anything. They can put themself in someones shoes. HIS!! not hers!! I hope he doesnt have to serve 7 years behind bars, for his sake. Im sure he has learned a lesson by now. If he learned to be a true electrician, he has the mental discipline somewhere in there and hopefully this trial will bring out the best foot forward for this man to move forward with. After he pays the piper for his actions. Nothing is easy. Not even aquiring a parking spcae in the East Village!

  12. RENEE THOMPSON says:

    THIS MAN IS GUILTY BECAUSE HE WILLFULLY DROVE AWAY FROM THE INCIDENT WHICH SUGGEST THAT HE WAS INDIFFERENT, NON COMPASSIONATE AND A STRAIGHT UP PUNK!!! I WOULD NEVER HIT ANYONE FIRST AS A WOMAN ESPECIALLY A MAN…I DON’T BELIEVE SHE HIT HIM FIRST EITHER….HE IS A PUNK….

    1. Blackheywood Heywood says:

      No one can “HOLD” a parking spot, Had that dumb woman moved instead of slapping a stranger, nothing would’ve happened. But something tells me someone hates Black men.

  13. rob says:

    falls under the same category as what happened in Mcdonallds last week. If you act like a moron in situations eventually you will have opened up your mouth to the wrong person. While i am sorry to hear that she was injured let this be a lesson to all to think before you act. People get so tough and when it backfires on them sometimes the results can be more than they expected.

  14. Surfin Bird says:

    Why hasn’t the female been charged for instigating this?

    1. DOUBLE_CHINNED_PUPPETEER says:

      Why? Because Fuller cracked her skull and put her in a coma. What don’t you understand??!?!

      1. Surfin Bird says:

        Maybe she sued racial epithets towards him

    2. Selective says:

      Surfin Bird because he didn’t file charges til after the fact. He didn’t need to step out his car perhaps she too felt threatened by him. I been in these situation and curse people out stuck a finger at them. He felt brave enough to knock her out because his ego was bruised. Why did he take off when he saw a real man her boyfriend come at him – you call that being a man – he is a punk. Like most men that hit chicks would never strike a man.

  15. pat says:

    Let me first say that he shoul NOT have hit her, let me ask however what should he have done? some would say drive away and not argue over the spoy which I agree with but does someone male or female have the right to hold a parking spot by standing in it?

    1. Michael H. says:

      No. It is against the law in NYC to hold a spot by standing in it, placing items in it, etc. The law states that the first car in the spot gets the spot.

      1. Selective says:

        Is also against the law to punch a woman – maybe she felt threaten when he stepped out the car. Why didn’t he just find another space as eventually he had. She shouldn’t have hit him only he felt brave to confront her yet claims when he saw the boyfriend he took off – what a man?

  16. Craigster says:

    What a class act of a lawyer and a low life, there is no excuse for hitting a woman. To claim self defense is both lame and cowardly the guy deserves time just because he can’t be honest and take responsibility for his brutality. Hope this guy doesn;t have kids or a wife.

  17. Pave Grancaric says:

    THIS GUY IS A COWARD!

    TO HIT A WOMAN LIKE THIS!

    YEAH…MAYBE SHE TRIED TO PUT HIS IN A CHOKE SQUEEZE..C’MON…WHAT STUPIDITY!

    SHE’S A SMALL LADY….AND EVEN IF SHE DID ACT UNREASONABLY…WHICH WE DON’T KNOW…THERE WAS NO NEED TO HIT HER THE WAY THIS LOW-LIFE MORON DID.

    PG
    NYC

    HE SHOULD FACE THE MUSIC!!!

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