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Victim in Howard Beach Assault Case Erupts in Anger, Quits Witness Stand

October 20, 1987|Associated Press

NEW YORK — One of the alleged victims of racial assault in Howard Beach twice exploded in profanity and left the witness stand Monday.

"Finished! . . . I'm going home!" the witness, Timothy Grimes, said both times as he disrupted the trial of four white teen-agers accused of beating Grimes and two other black men. One of the blacks, Michael Griffith, died when he ran into the path of a car.

Grimes' outbursts came during a badgering cross-examination by attorney Stephen Murphy, who said last week that he would question Grimes in court "until I break him."

Murphy's questions frequently were ruled improper by Judge Thomas Demakos, who has been struggling to maintain decorum in the trial in Queens.

"I don't even want to testify anymore!" the witness shouted as a court officer led him away. "I'm sick of this (expletive)!" said Grimes, 19, who had testified without incident Thursday. "I'm going home."

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