Man sentenced to prison for attack on homeless man caught on video

An older-looking man, appearing a bit unsteady as he walks down the middle of the street, is coaxed to the sidewalk by a group of young men. Seconds later, as he begins to chat with the group, one of them knocks him to the ground with a vicious punch to the face. 

The group — including the person who took the video — laughs and taunts the man as he lays on the pavement, holding his jaw.

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Columbus police, acting on an email tip, found the video and identified the victim and his assailant. 

On Thursday, Terrance E. Pyfrom, 19, was sentenced to four years in prison, a month after pleading guilty to one count of felonious assault for the attack.  

The victim was a 65-year-old homeless man who suffered a broken jaw, said Assistant Prosecutor Warren Edwards. The punch was thrown at the corner of Trevitt and Atcheson streets on the Near East Side on April 1, 2015. No one else was charged in the case. 

Pyfrom apologized in court and told Common Pleas Judge Kim Brown that he hopes he can be forgiven. 

The victim did not attend the hearing. 

Defense attorney Richard L. Crosby III asked Brown to place Pyfrom on probation, saying his client had no other adult offenses. 

But Edwards argued that prison was appropriate for an unprovoked attack on a particularly vulnerable victim. He also said Pyfrom has denied having guns or being a gang member, despite police pulling photos from social media showing him holding guns and the gang unit identifying him as a member of the Trevitt and Atcheson Crips. 

When Brown imposed the prison term, members of Pyfrom's family began voicing their displeasure. Brown asked them to leave the courtroom, which they did with an escort from sheriff deputies. 

Pyfrom, who was credited with the year he has spent in jail since his arrest, will be eligible to apply for early release. 

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