justice

Jury Acquits Ricardo Muñiz For Violently Defending Himself Against Drunk Gay Basher

Well this sounds like it ended well: Ricardo Muñiz, a 23-year-old Mexican man living illegally in the U.S. (pictured), reported his July 2009 gay bashing to police after 65-year-old Jose Cruz allegedly following him out of a Flatbush, Brooklyn, bar and attacked him while screaming homophobic slurs. Not only did it trigger the threat of deportation, but it also landed Muñiz on trial for being the attacker — because Cruz had a friend who claimed Muñiz, who left Cruz bloody and in coma after beating him with a wooden object, started it. But after hearing the case, a jury decided yesterday to acquit Muñiz, who was also bloodied in the attack, ending the threat of 25 years in prison for defending himself against a gay basher.

Cruz’s friend German Serrano turned out to be a crap witness on the stand: video surveillance footage showed Cruz staggering (drunk) outside the bar before the attack, and hospital records showed his blood alcohol level was 0.21, despite Serrano testifying he and Cruz drank just three beers between them over a seven-hour period.

But just Muñiz is off the hook for the assault doesn’t mean his troubles are over: he’s still facing a nightmare immigration ordeal. So if Muñiz isn’t guilty in the attack, shouldn’t Cruz be charged with the gay bashing?