PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 23-year-old West Philadelphia man has pleaded guilty to a vicious assault on a bicyclist during a “flash mob” riot at Broad and South Streets two years ago.

As part of a plea deal, the defendant has been sentenced to 5-20 years in prison.

Defendant Stephen Lyde has admitted he was one of several men who attacked 56-year-old Thomas Fitzgerald, who was struck from behind while riding his bicycle, then pummeled into seizures and a coma (see previous story).

Fitzgerald is still suffering from the May 2009 attack and has not been able to return to work, but in court he heard the defendant say he was sorry and apologetic.  And Fitzgerald says he accepts the apology.

“Yeah, I kind of feel… it’s strange, but I feel bad for him, too, the way his life has turned out,” he told KYW Newsradio today.

Lyde had used Fitzgerald’s stolen ID to make purchases at Nieman-Marcus and Armani after the attack, and Judge Schulman called that the literal definition of “adding insult to injury.”

Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060

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