Four youths indicted in the Central Park attack on a woman jogger were denied bail Friday during hearings where a prosecutor called the attack "the most vicious and brutal assault that has occurred in New York City to date."
In an impassioned plea that the judge deny bail, Assistant Manhattan Dist. Atty. Elizabeth Lederer said: "They left a trail of ruin, assault and injury. . . . . As a result of their rampage, a 28-year-old woman is lying unconscious in Metropolitan Hospital. She was raped, sodomized, brutally beaten and then left bleeding for hours in the thickest woods."
The hearing for one of the youths, age 17, was interrupted when black activist attorney Alton Maddox Jr. violated an agreement that he remain silent as the youth's attorney, Joseph Mack, spoke to State Supreme Court Justice Carol Berkman.
Told to Join Spectators
When he persisted in trying to speak, the judge ordered Maddox to join the spectators behind the courtroom rail.
"You're a bunch of racists! This is a kangaroo court!" two dozen black supporters led by the Rev. Al Sharpton shouted. They surged forward as a dozen court officers rushed to form a human wall at the rail. Berkman left the bench and returned only after the group followed Maddox's instructions to sit down.
Maddox and Mack then wheeled and stormed from the courtroom with their supporters in tow. When they returned about an hour later, the judge denied bail.
Maddox and Sharpton also were active in the case of Tawana Brawley, a black teen-ager who told a tale last year of abduction, rape and abuse but whose story has been doubted by many.
Later in the day, prosecutors revealed a grand jury indictment had been returned against another of the alleged attackers, age 14. The junior high student is the sixth to be indicted for the attack on the woman April 19 and the only one who admitted raping her, a police complaint said.
Another youth, age 15, was indicted for allegedly beating and robbing a 40-year-old male jogger during the same two-hour rampage through the park. He was held on $15,000 bail.