A state senator was indicted Friday on assault and other charges after being accused of attacking a New York Post photographer who took his picture, prosecutors said.
A Brooklyn grand jury handed up the indictment charging Democratic Sen. Kevin Parker with second and third degree assault, third and fourth degree criminal mischief, third degree menacing and second degree harassment. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.
Attorney Lonnie Hart Jr. 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 and charged at him after Lopez snapped a shot of him outside his Brooklyn home May 8. The photograph was to accompany a story concerning the lawmaker’s mortgage.
The lawmaker chased him to his car, reached in and grabbed his camera as he sat behind the wheel, Lopez said. He said the two struggled for the equipment before Parker ripped a panel off the car door and tore out the camera’s flash.
A Post spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a cell phone message Friday evening.
Parker, 42, has faced a series of allegations of rough behavior since taking office in 2002.
He was arrested in 2005 on charges of punching a traffic agent who was writing him a ticket. The charges were dropped after Parker agreed to take an anger management class.
Also that year, Parker’s security pass for state buildings was temporarily suspended for repeated violations of security regulations. A former aide complained that Parker had once assaulted her, then threatened her for talking about the incident; he was not charged.
Last summer, another aide filed a report with police saying Parker had shoved her and smashed her glasses during an argument at his campaign office. Parker filed his own complaint denying the allegations and saying the woman hit him. He wasn’t charged.
After Parker’s arrest this month, Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith stripped the lawmaker of his positions — and $22,000 a year in extra pay — as majority whip and chairman of the energy committee while the case continues.
Parker has said in a statement that he agreed with Smith’s decision and would remain “engaged in the important issues before the Senate.”