'Sucker punch' suspect Barry Baker pleads guilty to attacking disabled man

Monday, September 25, 2017 06:02PM
'Sucker punch' suspect Barry Baker pleads guilty. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 5pm on September 25, 2017.


WEST CHESTER, Pa. - Barry Baker, Jr. has pleaded guilty to charges he punched a 21-year-old disabled man outside a convenience store in Chester County.

The guilty plea came Monday morning, several days after a case of confusion in a West Chester courtroom where Baker disagreed with a summary of the case read by the judge.
VIDEO: Man with cerebral palsy mocked, punched in West Chester
RAW VIDEO: Disabled man assaulted in West Chester


The incident took place at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 10, outside a 7-Eleven store on the 200 block of South High Street in West Chester.

Surveillance video shows Michael Ryan, who has cerebral palsy, walking out of the store, then being mocked and assaulted by Baker.

Previously, Baker had claimed while the attack was wrong, it was not unprovoked.

He claimed that he and Ryan had words a short time earlier while at Barnaby's Pub near the 7-Eleven.

But surveillance video from the bar, and a swipe system in the bar that records patrons' driver's licenses, showed no evidence of any prior meeting.

Baker now admits he had not met Ryan at Barnaby's and not seen him before he mocked and attacked him at the 7-Eleven.

"He did admit that Ryan was not there," said Baker's attorney, Tom Purl. "He admitted it today in court."


After the proceeding was over, Action News spoke with Ryan.

He didn't seem comfortable with the notoriety of being the man with cerebral palsy who was targeted.

And Ryan told Action News the incident has not changed his life.

"You know what? To be honest with you, I just kept doing what I was doing," Ryan said.

He added that he had no idea why someone would want to come after him.

"The fact that it's over is good," he said as he left the courthouse.

Baker will be sentenced in the next 30-60 days. He could face from two to four years in jail.

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