MANHATTAN - A college student from Brooklyn who was beaten into a coma during a bar brawl nearly a year ago publicly spoke out about his ordeal for the first time Wednesday.

"I'm not a hero, just a normal guy stuck in a bad situation," said Bryan Steinhauser.

Last May, the Binghamton University student suffered severe injuries to his brain that left him incapable of walking or talking. Steinhauser's accused assailant, basketball player and fellow student Miladin Kovacevic, fled to his native Serbia following the incident.

"I want to start off by saying thankfully, I am not full of hate," Steinhauser said Wednesday at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he spent months working with doctors and therapists to regain his speech and use of limbs.

Last December, Steinhauser was transferred to Mount Sinai's outpatient program to continue his recuperation.

"Bryan really survived a catastrophic brain injury," said Dr. Kristjan Ragnarsson. "When he came to us, he was just emerging from a coma."

The Steihnausers' attorney expressed hope that Kovacevic will be tried in Serbia.