Crime watch

New York man pleads guilty after attacking gay couple at state fair

Nicholas Ferlenda

A Syracuse man has pleaded guilty to two hate crime charges stemming from an assault on a gay couple he committed at the New York State Fair last summer.

28-year-old Nicholas Ferlenda pleaded guilty to assault and criminal mischief after an encounter at a Breaking Benjamin concert at the fair. Ferlendia spotted two men leaving the concert together with one placing his arm around the other as they exited. That prompted Ferlenda to violence. He attacked the couple, punching one in the face and screaming homophobic explicatives, according to The New York Post. He then chased the couple to their car, where he bashed in the driver’s side window of the vehicle. The full assault lasted around 30 minutes. When police arrived on the scene, they found Ferlenda screaming and covered in blood.

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“This is one of the vilest things we’ve seen,” prosecutor Anthony Mangovski said after the hearing. “The amount of hate that man exhibited was absurd.”

Mangovski had asked the court to sentence Ferlenda to a three-year prison stint. Instead, the court offered Ferlenda a pela deal. He will now spend six months in jail, as well as receive five years of probation and undergo sensitivity training.