Road rage brawl charges now before Saratoga County jury
BALLSTON SPA A jury is to deliberate today in a road rage stabbing case that wrapped up in Saratoga County Court on Tuesday.
Frank Soriano, 65, of Damascus Drive, Wilton, is on trial on charges of first- and second-degree assault, attempted first-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the stabbing of Jeffrey Streicher, 42, after the two drove aggressively on Northern Pines Road and then had a minor fender-bender on Sept. 10, 2011.
Soriano claims self-defense, saying he pulled the knife only after Streicher charged at him first and punched him several times in the face.
Attorneys for both sides presented their closing arguments Tuesday, with Soriano’s attorney Michael Koenig painting the prosecution’s witnesses of the fight as inconsistent. No one witness was there for the entire thing, so some believed Soriano was the victim while others believed Streicher was.
“If these seven people who were there cannot be sure — and they were there — how can they possibly prove to you beyond a reasonable doubt that Frank Soriano committed a crime?” Koenig asked.
Motorists and one pedestrian came upon the altercation at different points, some seeing it up close and others from farther away. Some called 911.
Assistant District Attorney Ann Sullivan portrayed the witnesses’ reports as consecutive “screen shots” of the same incident at different points in time rather than inconsistent accounts.
“The only witness who is telling you a different story about what happened ... is the defendant,” she said.
Soriano’s attorney tried to instill reasonable doubt in the six-man, six-woman jury by bringing up Streicher’s demeanor on the witness stand, when he yelled at times and was admonished by Judge Jerry Scarano.
“Based on what you saw in this courtroom, how do you think he came out of his vehicle that day?” Koenig said.
Streicher suffers from the effects of a childhood traumatic brain injury and has post-concussion syndrome, Sullivan said.
That prevents him from controlling his speech and emotions, she said. The incident with Soriano also has caused him anxiety.