The initial incident took place on Manhattan’s Upper-East Side during August of 2007 at an Equinox gym. Both Christopher Carter, a 44-year old stockbroker with Maxim Investment Group, and 48-year old hedge-fund manager, Stuart Sugarman, were part of the same vigorous ‘spin class’.
Carter claims that Sugarman was shouting loudly to ‘pump himself up’ and began annoying everyone in the class. He continued by grunting and yelling ‘You go girl!’ and ‘Great song!’, while spinning. As Carter’s attorney explains, when he yelled at Sugarman to quiet down:
“You will hear how Mr. Sugarman was boorish, was obnoxious, used obscenities, gave my client the finger,” defense lawyer Michael Farkas told the jury.
In what sounds like typical grade-school behavior, Carter resorted to asking the spin class instructor to tell Sugarman to quiet the F down. When it was revealed the instructor was powerless to help, Carter lost his cool. He jumped off his bike, went over to Sugarman and flipped him backwards off his bike and into a wall. Supposedly there was a large hole left in the sheetrock from the impact.
According to the report in the NY Post:
The resulting herniated disc sent the fund manager, Stuart Sugarman, 48, to a hospital for more than a week – complete with surgery and metal screws in his neck, prosecutors said yesterday during opening statements in the misdemeanor assault trial.
The assailant, Carter, and his attorney are claiming in court that Big Sugar is faking the whole thing. He apparently proceeded to get on his bike and complete the spin class for additional 40 minutes of exercise after ‘the brawl’.
Sugarman’s attorney agrees that her client was annoying, but also claims:
“As New Yorkers, you’ve all been annoyed by someone,” the prosecutor said. “Someone who’s being rude. What’s not normal . . . is to punish them by assaulting them.”
I hope this trial gets a lot of media attention. And not just those crappy artist renderings of court scenes, but a full-blown reenactment/dramatization of the incident and a hyped-up episode of Law and Order.
Maybe one day we will look back at this case as the landmark decision that allowed people to beat up the annoying assholes who bother them?
DealBreaker: Spinning Out Of Control Because The Guy Next To You Won’t Pipe Down– A-Okay?, May 28, 2008
NY Post: Showdown Over Vicious Cycles, May 28, 2008