In February 2013, a man who hangs out in Times Square dressed as Spiderman punched a woman named Victoria Goreaciuc after she declined to tip him for posing with her. Spiderman (a.k.a. Philip Williams) rejected a plea deal, and now the case has finally gone to trial, which means opportunities for bad jokes and even worse attempts to justify the defendant’s behavior. On Tuesday, Williams’s lawyer, Rachel Black, argued that her client was acting in self-defense against the 46-year-old mother because she threw snow or ice at him after he called her “a piece of crap.”
“Saying you’re a piece crap is a really obnoxious thing to do and unfortunately in New York we have to deal with stuff like that,” Black mused. She added, “It’s actually not a crime to be a jerk, unfortunately or fortunately.” But given what happened, that argument probably would have made more sense in the hands of the prosecutor.