NEW YORK (AP) - A teenager arrested in a shooting that caused mayhem and bloodshed at a midtown Manhattan skating rink apologized for seriously injuring an innocent bystander, according to court documents made public Tuesday. Cory Dunton, 16, pleaded not guilty at an arraignment Tuesday to attempted murder, assault and other charges. Prosecutors allege he opened fire at the popular Bryant Park rink last month while trying to steal an expensive parka.
The coat's owner was hit in the leg and hands. A 14-year-old bystander, Adonis Mera, also was struck in the back. "I did not aim for Adonis. ... I never thought I'd see this day where my life is shattered and I have shattered a young boy's life as well," Dunton said in a handwritten statement following his arrest, according to prosecutors. He added: "Some or most people might hate me for what I have done. I hate myself as well."
Dunton was charged as an adult and, if convicted, could face up to 25 years in prison on the attempted murder charge. He is being held without bail, and is to return to court Jan. 28. Dunton, of the Bronx, and Mera were strangers. It was unclear how he knew his alleged victim's name. There was no immediate response to a phone message left with Dunton's attorney. At the arraignment, prosecutors told the judge that Mera remains hospitalized and is struggling to regain movement below his waist. The intended victim had not been able to return to work because of his injuries, they added.
"Because of a single gun fired in a public park, an innocent 14-year-old boy may never walk again," District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement. After the shooting, prosecutors say, Dunton fled to the Bronx and wrote on Facebook that he knew police were after him and that he intended to "go out with a bang." Investigators arrested him a day after the shooting without incident. "It's all over for me," he allegedly told a detective who took him into custody. "I'm going down for this."