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Caught on stream: Man gets five-plus years in prison for brutal assault broadcast on Facebook

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A Prospect-Lefferts Gardens man will spend five-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to savagely beating a homeless man inside a Lincoln Road apartment complex — and broadcasting the assault live on Facebook — a judge ruled on Friday.

Daquan King, 24, was visiting friends at the building between Flatbush and Ocean avenues at 9:35 pm on March 23, when he found the victim drunk inside an elevator and began to torment the blitzed 58-year-old, according to District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

King admitted to taking the man’s money and throwing it on the floor, and then locking him in the elevator for several minutes, Gonzalez said.

And when the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens man released his helpless victim from the lift, he threw him to the floor and viciously assaulted him, before kicking him down a flight of stairs while two pals looked on, the district attorney said.

King followed the man as he fell down the steps, at which point he turned on his phone and began broadcasting his attack via a Facebook Live video, which showed him kick the vagrant down another flight of stairs.

The video shows King laughing and directing viewers to “go to the fifth floor” to get a good look at his victim, according to Gonzalez, who said a cop saw the footage, which he used to track down the homeless man.

“This cruel and cowardly assault of a defenseless older man was sickening and shameful,” the top prosecutor said.

But the district attorney chose to ignore some inconvenient facts in painting the attack as a violent prank, King’s lawyer said.

“I’m sure they’d like to portray it that way, but it’s not the truth,” said Jeff Chabrowe.

The victim had a history of terrorizing building residents during his drunken revelries, according to Chabrowe, who said his client lived across the street from the site of the assault.

“He’s been quite provocative in the building,” the legal eagle said of the homeless man.

But Gonzalez’s prosecutors knew that King gave them more than enough ammo to sway a jury with the footage he uploaded, and originally hoped the video would result in a stiff 18-year sentence for the defendant, who was already on parole for a prior robbery conviction.

But Chabrowe managed to fight the prison time down to just more than five years, he said.

“I think the district attorney’s office, knowing how prejudicial the subject matter was, really used that unfairly to their advantage,” the attorney said. “He made a terrible mistake, and he got a stiff punishment, but we felt a trial could have been potentially disastrous.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:42 pm, July 9, 2018
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