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Corona Resident Who Slashed Man in Face in White Castle Pleads Guilty to Attempted Assault: DA

White Castle in Elmhurst (Photo: Tdorante10 CC BY-SA 4.0)

Oct. 15, 2020 By Christian Murray

A Corona man who attacked a White Castle customer with a knife four years ago pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted assault, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Billy Lavayen, 34, faces up to 7 ½ years in prison for his role in a group attack that took place in the Elmhurst branch at around 4 a.m. on Feb. 19, 2017.

Lavayen, who co-founded a street gang called Always Banging Kings, along with five members got into a dispute with the victim—a stranger– in the fast food joint.

One of the women in the group started yelling at him. Another woman then pushed him.

According to the charges, Lavayen was handed a knife and then slashed the victim in the face cutting him from his eyebrow down to his lip.

The victim, an Astoria resident, then fell to the floor where he was punched and kicked by the group– while his face bled. Another member of the group hit him with a belt, while another threw a chair at him.

The victim was taken to a nearby hospital where it took 30 stitches to close the gash. The attack also left the victim with permanent facial nerve damage.

“This was a vicious attack on a man who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

The five other perpetrators in the attack have all been charged and sentenced.

Jose Lavayen, 31, who is a cousin, was sentenced to 8 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of gang assault in the first degree in 2018.

The others who took part in the attack got varying sentences—from a conditional discharge up to 5 years in prison.

“I hope that today’s plea by the last of the defendants brings justice and a sense of closure to the victim, who thankfully survived,” Katz said.

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