Justice For Christopher: Finally
PLATTSBURGH CITY -- 3/7/12
It's been a long haul for Christopher Rigsbee, the victim of a brutal beating back on November 19th, 2010. Yesterday he finally saw one of his attackers face legal repercussions for the assault.
The early morning beating happened on Broad Street. Christopher and his girlfriend were verbally harassed by a group of men on a porch. Christopher exchanged some words with the men who suddenly ganged up on him, beating him to the point that he lost three teeth, his gums embedded with gravel as the thugs pounded him into the pavement. His girlfriend was also roughed up.
After the senseless thrashing the men told Christopher and his girlfriend to get the fuck away from their building. Bloody and severely injured, Chris with the help of his girlfriend was able to make his way to a friend's house and the police were soon called.
As readers of this blog know the case created a furor in the local media and then faded from memory. Christopher and his supporters held a public demonstration near the scene of the attack, newspapers running photos of the event.
Everyone probably assumed that justice would be done but the case dragged on. I received the following statement via email from Christopher yesterday after action was taken in Plattsburgh City Court.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012
"Today at court, Patrick Roszel was charged with a first degree assault charge. He made a check payment total of $3,850 to pay for the last part of the three part oral surgery operation at Plattsburgh Dental Group. Through the hard work of Detective Steve Dube and Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Evanovich, the long ordeal has come to a close after Patrick Roszel pleaded guilty over the phone before other suspects went on the stand in front of grand jury on November 10th of 2011. He now has to pay the rest of the full restitution by the end of April. The rest of the payment goes directly to Victim Services as they have covered mostly everything besides the final part of the oral surgery (which was paid today by Patrick).
"I am glad I can officially move on from all of this. Many things to be grateful for. Dr. Tom Gerner for his many talents and his teams patience and warm hearts. Detective Dube and A.D.A. Evanovich for still being superheroes and pulling through even after I lost hope with the case. Glad my friends and family have stuck with me and put up with this roller coaster. Thanks to everyone who pushed this case and wouldn't let it rest or be swept under the rug. Lastly, Darcel Downing, after watching such a horrific act, being strong for me and pushing me to get back to a real life again. Thank you all!"
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Patrick Roszel was a Plattsburgh State student at the time of the attack. According to someone familiar with the situation, the other attackers -- to use the vernacular -- apparently decided to throw Roszel under the bus during grand jury proceedings, blaming him for majority of the injuries Christopher suffered. The source also stated the Broad Street building where the gang assault occurred also housed other PSUC students, including members of a college athletic team.
I did an online search for the last three years and Patrick Roszel is not listed in the roster of this particular team.
Christopher Rigsbee has said that he contacted an official at PSUC regarding the assault but the official stated there was nothing he or the college could do about the matter.
I can understand why the official didn't want to get involved. If word got out about PSUC students committing a gang assault, it would taint the image of the college. After all, thuggery isn't a recognized major at that fine institution.
In the online archives of the PSUC student newspaper, Cardinal Points, there are a couple of items involving Roszel, one of them a quote for a Roving Reporter column. The other item is from the police blotter, dated September 26, 2010. It states that Patrick N. Roszel of 54 Broad Street was arrested by Plattsburgh City Police for a noise ordinance violation and was released upon an appearance ticket. The police blotter item can be found here.