A 23-year-old Naples man who went into a rage and punched a motorist repeatedly, wrongly accusing her of running over his baby and stroller, has been sentenced to six months in jail.
Collier County Judge Mike Carr threw out a more lenient plea agreement last month and sentenced Walter Francis Horobin last month to a year of probation and fined him $500.
“I think the state is bound by their offer, but I’m not,” said an angry Carr, who questioned why it took two years to prosecute Horobin and why something so egregious was prosecuted as a misdemeanor. “Is there any reason why he shouldn’t be doing jail time?”
The plea agreement negotiated by Assistant State Attorney Susan Storter and defense attorney Mark Youngblood involved a year of probation and 30 days in jail on weekends, and a $250 fine. Storter blamed the delay on the case’s transfer from her office’s felony division to misdemeanor.
Storter told Carr that Horobin went into a rage and beat Patricia McTigue, 52, of Naples, on Nov. 23, 2007, after McTigue backed her car into her parking space at Quail Forest Boulevard, near where Horobin’s wife, Julita, was pushing a baby stroller on the sidewalk.
“He was yelling profanities and screaming at her, beating her face and yelling that she had run over his child,” Storter said. “She was literally looking under the bumper for a child she had run over. But the child was sitting in a stroller unscathed.”
Storter told the judge McTigue’s bruises were still visible in photos taken of her on New Year’s Eve. But McTigue said those photos, which show her black eye, didn’t show the injuries to her neck, shoulder and back.
McTigue and her passenger described what occurred. McTigue told the judge Horobin pounded her car, rocking it, and reached in her window and attacked her from behind.
“He began pummeling me with one hand,” McTigue said. “Then he let go of my shoulder and proceeded to beat me with both fists.”
She was helpless, she said, because her seat belt held her in. “I have no idea what made him stop beating me, but the only thing I can assume is his fists were sore because he punched my car and rocked my car ... half a dozen times,” she said.
She wasn’t sympathetic to Youngblood’s arguments for leniency, that Horobin is a father and husband whose salary is needed at home.
“What about me?” McTigue said, adding that the beating caused her to lose time from work, but she needed the money and had to work in pain for a few hours daily. She said she’s still in pain.
Youngblood also cited Horobin’s lack of a violent record, misdemeanor convictions for marijuana and drug paraphernalia, a probation violation, and a cocaine charge that ended in pretrial diversion and no conviction, in addition to a juvenile burglary arrest in New Jersey.
Newspaper stories in Connecticut show juvenile arrests for armed robbery and marijuana possession. And his mother filed a domestic violence case here that cited his temper and mental disorder.