By Sabina Mollot
A man who punched a Stuyvesant Town resident in the face before throwing him down the subway stairs in Union Square was sentenced this week to 90 days in jail after taking a plea deal.
The sentence came a week after the attacker, Gary Williams, assaulted the victim, a 28-year-old man, outside Whole Foods last Monday evening.
According to the victim, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Dan, Williams slugged him after he offered Williams $10. Williams had just been kicked out of the supermarket for ordering food he didn’t pay for, according to information from the Manhattan district attorney. However, instead of saying thank you, Williams, who is sometimes seen drumming around Union Square, punched Dan in the face.
“I said ‘I’ll give you ten dollars, and he took that as a fight,” Dan told Town & Village, adding that Williams had attacked him as he started walking away. The Stuy Town man said he fought back though, and things quickly spiraled into “a full on fist fight as I tried to defend myself.” However, when Dan thought it was over, Williams threw him down the subway stairs. “But I took him with me,” the 28-year-old said, recalling that it was about a 15-foot drop from the sidewalk to the bottom of the stairs. “It was miraculous I didn’t break any bones.”
Williams also tried to use a drumstick broken in half as a weapon, Dan said.
He added that though he’d never been hassled by Williams before, he believed Williams is part of a group of homeless people who hang out in the park, since after the incident, some older, homeless people were trying to get Dan not to press charges. He said he also suspected Williams was under some sort of influence because he was acting “goofy and messed up.”
Meanwhile, this wasn’t Williams’ first arrest for assault.
As Town & Village reported in July of 2014, Williams was nabbed for allegedly assaulting a police officer, also in Union Square.
He was playing a drum when an officer approached him and when the officer tried to arrest him, Williams allegedly flailed his arms and kicked his leg in order to avoid being handcuffed. When the officer attempted to handcuff him again, Williams pushed the officer, causing both of them to fall to the ground and the officer to dislocate his finger, police said.
However, according to the Manhattan district attorney, Williams only pled guilty to resisting arrest for that incident, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
According to the NYPD, Williams has been arrested 36 times with charges including criminal mischief, criminal contempt, menacing with a weapon in 2014 and other violent incidents.
As for the latest victim, Dan said he’s going to need an MRI following the incident and is also now concerned for his safety. “I’m going to need to watch my back near Union Square,” he said.
Williams’ Legal Aid attorney confirmed the plea deal, but said he couldn’t confirm or comment on any other details about Williams or the case.