A man who admitted beating and stomping a Silver Spring jogger for no apparent reason nearly a year ago was sentenced to nine years in prison by a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge last week.
Daniel Price, 18, of Highland, Md., who had pleaded guilty on Feb. 9 to assault with intent to maim David Gottlieb, the jogger, turned to Gottlieb at the sentencing procedure and said, "I wish it had never happened."
Gottlieb, 34, a civil rights specialist at the General Services Administration, who has undergone brain surgery and extensive hospitalization as a result of the beating last June 19, said "Thank you."
Price was given credit by Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge John J. Mitchell for time served in prison since his arrest last October. Under Maryland law, a person is normally eligible for parole after he has served a least one-fourth of his sentence. Price had faced a maximum of 10 years in jail.
A second defendant in the incident, Harry Bailey, will stand trial on July 25. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with intent to maim, and assault with intent to murder.
Assistant State's Attorney Irma Raker told the court at the sentencing on May 25 that citizens "don't expect to be beaten while pursuing an innocent activity (and) don't expect to be turned away by neigjbors when crying for help . . . but these things happened to David Gottlieb," she said.
Gottlieb, a dedicated runner who formerly ran 20 miles a day, was on his evening run through the streets of Silver Spring when two men in a pick-up truck began following him, he had testified when Price pleaded guilty to the maiming charge.
After pretending that he didn't speak English, and so couldn't respond to their shouted questions, Gottlieb ran up to a man sitting in a parked car and asked him for help. The man rolled up his window and drove away, Gottlieb testified.
Gottlieb then tried to run from his assailants, but they caught up with him in the 14000 block of Rippling Spring Drive, at about 9:30 at night. "They started kicking and stomping on me . . . I was down on the ground . . . yelling for help, but no one was coming," he testified last February.
Gottlieb said he initially hesitated at striking back "because I was afraid I would hurt" one of his attackers.
Finally Gottlieb picked up a large rock lying by his side and smashed it into the face of one of his tormentors. "He seemed so surprised that events could turn so quickly," Gottlieb said, dding that he used the opportunity to crawl and stumble to a nearby house, whose occupants took him in and called police.
Price was arrested in October after an areawide search by Montgomery County police and other jurisdictions. Bailey was arrested and charged after Price pleaded guilty in February.
No motive for the incident has even been advanced. Gottlieb was wearing jogger's shorts and a T-shirt at the time of the beating. He was not carrying a wallet, or wearing a watch, and testified that his assailants never attempted to rob him.