CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. – A Long Island man charged with shooting and wounding the grandfather of a boy he believed pulled his daughter's hair on a school bus pleaded not guilty to felony assault Thursday.
Anthony Franklin, 28, confronted Wilson McWilliams at his home in North Amityville Tuesday after becoming upset that his 5-year-old daughter's hair had been pulled by McWilliams' grandson, prosecutors said in Suffolk County First District Court.
Franklin "was having a fight when the gun went off twice," said prosecutor Tim Finnerty. McWilliams was shot in the leg and in the buttocks and is hospitalized in stable condition.
Franklin's attorney declined to comment. But Ayesha Clinton, Franklin's fiancee, said witnesses will confirm that Franklin was acting in self-defense during the confrontation
"(McWilliams) pulled Anthony into the home and then the guy reached for something and no one's going to stand there and get shot, so my boyfriend was tossing with this man," Clinton said. "They was tussling and then I heard a loud noise . I want everybody to know Anthony did not just go to this man's house and shoot him. It's self-defense."
Clinton said their daughter, 5-year-old Tahjanique, had been complaining for weeks that McWilliams' 5-year-old grandson had been pulling her hair and calling her names.
A judge signed an order of protection prohibiting Franklin from contacting McWilliams or his grandson. Franklin is being held on $75,000 bail.
Robert Clifford, a spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney's office, said a witness saw Franklin reach behind his back and pull out a small gray handgun. He said the witness heard two loud bangs before Franklin ran from the scene.