A man wielding a baseball bat who was caught on camera brutally assaulting a homeless person on a city street has managed to escape jail time, thanks to a lenient plea deal negotiated with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
The New York Post has obtained exclusive information about this controversial arrangement.
Karim Azizi, 36, found himself at the center of a nationwide debate as he faced charges for his involvement in the vicious attack that occurred on November 29, 2022, in the Sugar Hill neighborhood.
The victim, a 47-year-old homeless man, suffered horrific injuries to his face and head during the incident, which was captured on camera.
The decision to offer Azizi a lenient plea deal hinged on several factors, as outlined by Assistant District Attorney Heather Manley during a hearing at Manhattan Supreme Court. Notably, prosecutors were unable to locate the victim, who had gone into hiding following the attack. Manley explained, “After diligent efforts to find [the victim], we were unable.”
Furthermore, Azizi had a clean criminal record prior to this incident and displayed a willingness to take responsibility for his actions.
Additionally, it was revealed that he was grappling with the loss of a family member at the time of the assault, which contributed to the decision to opt for a plea deal rather than incarceration.
Initially, Azizi had been facing a potential sentence of up to seven years in prison for his involvement in the assault. During the attack, he had pulled a bat from his pants and used it to strike the victim, causing the individual to fall to the ground near Amsterdam Avenue and West 148th Street.
Under the terms of the plea deal, Azizi ultimately pleaded guilty to second and third-degree assault charges.
To avoid jail time, he has been mandated to participate in a comprehensive treatment program over the next 15 months, leading up to his sentencing. This program, conducted at the Center for Justice Innovation, involves both individual and group therapy sessions.
The outcome of Azizi’s case now hinges on his successful completion of the treatment program. If he meets the requirements and successfully undergoes rehabilitation, he will face a significantly reduced sentence of only one year of conditional release on the lesser charge, marking a contentious resolution to a disturbing case that has raised questions about justice in the city.