A Suffolk district court judge in Central Islip lowered the bail Sunday for a Stony Brook University student charged with assaulting a classmate, after reading a statement from the victim saying he had struck first.
Richard Im was charged with first-degree felony assault, and Assistant District Attorney Pilar Czarnomski had originally requested $50,000 bail and an order of protection for Im to stay away from the victim. Judge Paul Hensley granted the order of protection, but set Im's bail at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.
Hensley lowered the bail after reading statements made by the victim that said Im picked up the victim, who was going to sell him marijuana, in a vehicle. During a dispute, the victim struck Im, who then stabbed him in the abdomen, Hensley said in court.
"It seems you're asking me to protect someone who was selling" drugs, Hensley said to Czarnomski during the hearing.
During the court hearing, Im's Legal Aid attorney said his client is 25, lives with his parents and is a senior at Stony Brook University, majoring in business and biology. Im commutes from his home in Syosset.
Im's father and sister showed up to court after the arraignment. Wan Su Im, 57, of Syosset, said of his son: "He should be a little more mature."
He added: "It was more of a mistake. More of not knowing the right thing to do rather than a criminal intention. . . . I know for a fact that he cannot kill a little bird. It's such a shock, but then again, drugs make people do crazy things."
Im is due back in court Friday.
The stabbing took place early Saturday, university officials said, on the main campus on Circle Drive near the administrative parking lot. After being stabbed, the victim approached a security guard at the school's main entrance.
Im was arrested at his home Saturday.