Crime

Man sentenced to 8 years for 7 minute-long beating of disabled man at the Riverwalk

BRADENTON -- One of three men charged in the 2013 beating of a disabled man at the Bradenton Riverwalk Skate Park was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday.

Devin Mark Wilson, 20, was convicted of aggravated abuse of a disabled adult for an attack just after midnight Nov. 5, 2013. The victim suffers from psychosis, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, according to his mother.

"I want to say sorry for what I did to him," Wilson said. "There was no reason for what I did. There was no reason at all to do what I did to that man."

Police say Wilson threw the victim on the ground and began kneeing and punching him in the head and chest. He was arrested Nov. 6 and charged with aggravated abuse on a disabled person.

The other suspects, Rubier Infante Zaldivar, 20, and Christopher Lovell, 21, were charged with bring principal to aggravated abuse of a disabled person.

Zaldivar is set to stand trial Nov. 10.

Lovell pleaded no contest in September to abuse of a disabled adult and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Bradenton police learned

of the incident after Lovell posted a video of the attack on his Facebook page.

Wilson blamed stress for the act and said he turned himself in right away and told the truth to BPD Detective John Morningstar, who led the investigation. Wilson's attorney Jorge Angulo said his client is willing to take responsibility for what he did.

Assistant State Attorney Darlene Ragoonanan played a seven-minute video of the attack in court.

"Beat his (butt)" says one of the other suspects as Wilson punches the victim.

At one point, the victim is asked why he's covering his face.

"I don't want you to hit my pretty face," the victim says.

The victim's grandmother left the courtroom while the video was shown.

After a few minutes, the victim tells Wilson he needs a break. Wilson continues beating him.

"After reviewing the video, it's very clear to me that this was a nefarious, diabolical and savage attack. That's unquestionable," said Judge John Lakin. "It was also demoralizing and degrading to this victim. It's really outrageous behavior."

During cross-examination, Ragoonanan grilled Wilson about knowing the victim prior to the attack during their time in Manatee County jail.

Shortly after being released from jail, Wilson saw the victim at Riverwalk smoking paper from a Bible. On the night of the incident, Wilson admitted the victim said some things that upset him.

In addition to being sentenced to eight years with credit for time served, Wilson must take an anger management program once released and stay on probation four more years. Wilson has been in custody since his arrest.

"You're lucky you didn't run into somebody who can fight back. You might find yourself in the same position as him," the judge told Wilson. "I think it was a reprehensible attack."

Jessica Deleon, law enforcement report, contributed to this report.

Amaris Castillo, law enforcement/island reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7051. Follow her on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.

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