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Man charged in shooting claims self-defense

The attorney for a Port Jefferson Station man charged with shooting a teenager in the face said Monday his client was defending his home when he fired three warning shots during a confrontation last month.

The shooting left the teen blind, prosecutors said.

Michael Perkowski, 22, pleaded not guilty in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead after a grand jury indicted him on charges of first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, criminal mischief and weapons possession. Perkowski remained held on $250,000 bail. If convicted, Perkowski faces up to 25 years in prison. He is due back in court on Jan. 13.

Assistant District Attorney Anthony Rutkowski said Perkowski fired three shots on Dec. 11 during an argument outside his home with four men. The last shot ricocheted and struck Raymond Kaine, 19, in the face, leaving him blind.

Kaine, of Port Jefferson Station, was released last month from Stony Brook University Medical Center, Rutkowski said. "There is little hope that he will ever regain his vision," he said in court.

Perkowski's attorney, Ed Palermo of Hauppauge, said Kaine and two other men had an argument with Perkowski earlier in the day outside the house, where Perkowski lives with his father and three brothers.

The men left, then returned to the house with the father of one of the men, Palermo said. During the second confrontation, the men brandished knives at Perkowski, who fired three warning shots, one at the ground and two at a parked vehicle, he said.

"Self-defense screams out," Palermo said outside court. "This isn't someone looking for trouble."

Asked about the self-defense argument, Rutkowski said the incident remains under investigation.

Perkowski's father, Edward Perkowski, of Port Jefferson Station, and aunt, Daryl Cunningham, of Florida, attended the arraignment before Judge William Condon. They referred questions to Palermo.

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