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Convict in Vicious Anti-Gay Attack Takes Plea Deal for 6 Month Sentence

Friday Jan 24, 2020
Nicholas Ferlenda
Nicholas Ferlenda  (Source:Onondaga County Sheriff's Office)

A 28-year-old man from Syracuse has accepted a plea deal for a six-month sentence for hate crime charges related to an attack on a gay couple last summer, reports the New York Post.

The unnamed couple was leaving a concert at the New York State Fair when Nicholas Ferlenda evidently saw one of the men throw his arm around the neck of his male partner. That, seemingly, was enough to send Ferlenda into a fury. Reports described Ferlenda as having been intoxicated at the time, and say that he began assailing the couple with homophobic epithets. When the men attempted to walk away from the situation, Ferlenda chased after them, and punched one of the men in the face, reported Syracuse.com.

Still, the couple focused on getting away from Ferlenda, getting into their car and trying to drive away. But the men stopped the car in order to report the assault to an employee, and Ferlenda's rampage went on as he caught up to the car and continued to berate the men. At one point, reports said, Ferlenda struck the driver's side window of the car, shattering it and cutting his arm in the process.

The Madison County Courier detailed Ferlenda's arrest in a police blotter report that said he was apprehended while "screaming obscenities and covered in blood," the latter being the result of injuries sustained in smashing the car window.

CNY cCentral reported on how Assistant District Attorney Anthony Mangovski characterized the tirade.

"This is one of the vilest things we've seen," Mangovski said. "The amount of hate that man exhibited was absurd," Mangovski said that the rampage lasted for half an hour.

That hate was also the factor that turned the charges Ferlenda faced into felony counts, rather than misdemeanors, reports noted.

Ferlenda appeared in court on Jan. 21 and pled guilty. In doing so, he was availing himself of a plea deal that requires six months of jail time, probation for half a decade, possible monetary restitution, and diversity training. The deal spared him a longer sentence that could have run up to three years behind bars.

Ferlenda is out on bond and scheduled to return to court in April for the sentencing. But he could end up in jail again for up to eight years if he's arrested for further disturbances, reports said.

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