By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent
Cleaman Anderson has begun serving a six month jail sentence in the 2016 road rage death of 68-year-old Chun Man Vincent Tse of New York.
A judge formally sentenced Anderson to six months jail and five years probation Friday after he entered a guilty plea as part of a plea bargain.
Anderson is accused of throwing a single punch at Tse following a fender bender that resulted in an argument. Witnesses say Anderson struck Tse, sending him into a coma and ultimately his death.
The coroner ruled Tse’s death a homicide, but prosecutors only charged Anderson with assault because they say it would be difficult to prove intent since he only threw a single punch.
“It’s been very hard for me everyday, said Tse’s son Steve. “I think about it all the time. It’s been hard in the holidays that he’s not there. It’s unfair.”
The family had pushed hard for the DA to file homicide charges, but according to community activist Karlin Chan, prosecutors in the office of DA Richard Brown refused.
“Though this is hardly the justice the family, community and I sought, it was maximum allowable under current New York State penal codes,” said Chan to AsAmNews. “The family and I had met many times with the Queen’s District Attorney Special Victim Unit and they were skeptical of getting a conviction at trial because Anderson delivered only one punch, they repeatedly argued they would have difficulty in proving “intent” to do serious bodily injury with one punch.”
Chan said Anderson uttered a few inaudible words during the hearing. His attorney simply offered “Mr. Anderson is sorry.”
The Tse family ultimately accepted the plea bargain, although reluctantly.
Chan read a statement in court on behalf of Vincent’s daughter, Ivy Chen.
“Losing our father is a major loss for our whole family, but especially for our 69-year old mom who now lives alone. They would have been celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. It has been a difficult year. We feel angry that as a result of a death the sentence of 6 months to one year has been offered. We feel that the court system along with internal affairs bureau has failed us.”
“The judge was unfair, but I have to live with it,” said the son Steve. “I didn’t want to take a chance and go to trial and having everything dismissed. I hold them accountable, even though they didn’t get charged. But I can’t do anything. It’s not my place to do judgments. “
Tse was an active volunteer at SelfHelp Benjamin Rosenthal Senior Center in Flushing, Queens, NY. He volunteered to cook meals for the seniors for seven years and never took a day off.
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