Bernhard H. Goetz, who admitted shooting four youths on a subway train last December, appeared in court Sunday to show his support for a man charged in a stabbing death during a theft of candy, a civil rights official said.
Andy Frederick, 24, of Brooklyn, was released without bail at his arraignment, pending a hearing March 25 in the death of Felix McCord, 28, of Manhattan.
"Hang in there!" Goetz, the so-called subway vigilante, shouted to Frederick in a corridor of the Manhattan Criminal Court building as the defendant was being escorted by officers, according to Cyril Boynes Jr. of the Congress of Racial Equality, who also attended the proceeding.
Frederick was charged by police Saturday with second-degree murder in the slaying, which he said occurred after he tried to stop McCord from stealing the candy on a subway platform in lower Manhattan. Defense lawyer Abraham Fuchsberg said his client was merely trying to help out the operator of the subway newsstand where the candy was stolen.
Goetz said that he sympathized with Frederick and believed he acted in self-defense.
Frederick's case will go before a grand jury to determine what formal charges should be filed.