Brooklyn lawmaker indicted on assault charges
(AP) - A state senator was indicted Friday on assaultand other charges after being accused of attacking a New York Postphotographer who took his picture, prosecutors said.
A Brooklyn grand jury handed up the indictment chargingDemocratic Sen. Kevin Parker with second and third degree assault,third and fourth degree criminal mischief, third degree menacingand second degree harassment. If convicted, he faces up to sevenyears in prison.
A spokeswoman said Parker had no immediate comment. His lawyer,Lonnie Hart Jr., didn't immediately return an after-hours telephonemessage but has said the lawmaker is "eager to defend himself."Parker's arraignment on the indictment hasn't been scheduled.
Photographer William Lopez has said Parker became enraged andcharged at him after Lopez snapped a shot of him outside hisBrooklyn home May 8. The photograph was to accompany a storyconcerning the lawmaker's mortgage.
The lawmaker chased him to his car, reached in and grabbed hiscamera as he sat behind the wheel, Lopez said. He said the twostruggled for the equipment before Parker ripped a panel off thecar door and tore out the camera's flash.
A Post spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a cell phonemessage Friday evening.
Parker, 42, has faced a series of allegations of rough behaviorsince taking office in 2002.
He was arrested in 2005 on charges of punching a traffic agentwho was writing him a ticket. The charges were dropped after Parkeragreed to take an anger management class.
Also that year, Parker's security pass for state buildings wastemporarily suspended for repeated violations of securityregulations. A former aide complained that Parker had onceassaulted her, then threatened her for talking about the incident;he was not charged.
Last summer, another aide filed a report with police sayingParker had shoved her and smashed her glasses during an argument athis campaign office. Parker filed his own complaint denying theallegations and saying the woman hit him. He wasn't charged.
After Parker's arrest this month, Senate Majority Leader MalcolmSmith stripped the lawmaker of his positions - and $22,000 a yearin extra pay - as majority whip and chairman of the energycommittee while the case continues.
Parker has said in a statement that he agreed with Smith'sdecision and would remain "engaged in the important issues beforethe Senate."