NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A verdict is in for the five Rockville Centre teens accused in an assault case that has polarized the Long Island community.
As CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, two of the five teens accused of assaulting a man who claimed he was sticking up for his wife after they harassed her while she walked their dog have been found guilty of misdemeanors. The other three were acquitted of the charges Thursday.
In an exclusive interview, John Woythaler told Gusoff he still suffers from headaches, memory loss and personality changes after he was beaten by the high school seniors.
“I just remember thinking, somebody please come out, somebody please help,” Woythaler said.
Even though the melee was caught on a neighbor’s surveillance tape, faces could not be seen clearly, Gusoff reported.
But Woythaler’s wife, Meri, said she knows what she saw. “I have no doubt in my mind. I saw them all, I saw them all jump on my husband.”
This is the first time the Woythalers have spoken out since the attack back in June, 2012.
Meri Woythaler said she was walking her dog when the pack of teens started shouting catcalls at her. “They started coming at me and calling me horrible words. Words you wouldn’t want to hear anyone say, and it was rather scary,” Woythaler said.
John Woythaler then jumped in his car and went looking for the teens. He said his intentions were to demand an apology from the teenagers. When he found the boys on Roxen Road, he said they brutally beat and kicked him in the head.
“There is nothing wrong with standing up and saying ‘this is wrong and you owe my wife an apology.’ This is not an appropriate way to behave,” Woythaler said.
The teens’ defense attorney argued they were the ones set upon by a vigilante. “He was the aggressor, he was the pursuer,” attorney Michael Dergarabedian said.
The defense attorneys in the case said the verdicts vindicate the teens, finding their actions justified.
The Woythalers disagree, Gusoff reported. “I’m just determined to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” Woythaler said.
The two teens convicted face less than a year in jail, if any jail time at all, Gusoff reported.
The Woythalers said they want all five teens held accountable.
There will be a civil trial and the couple is also suing the owner of the home where they say the teens were served alcohol prior to the assault.
Check Out These Other Stories From CBSNewYork.com:
- All-Female Nude Shakespeare Performance Seeks To Change Perceptions In Prospect Park
- 6.1-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Rome, Central Italy
- City Health Department Continues Full Court Press Against Zika With Public Forum
- Epic Gridlock Prompts Travelers To Drag Luggage Along Grand Central Parkway To LaGuardia