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Witness: Knott punched a man

Another prosecution witness implicates Kathryn Knott as punching 1 of 2 gay men attacked in Center City last year.

A witness to last year’s Center City gay bashing said Kathryn Knott allegedly pummeled the victims.
A witness to last year’s Center City gay bashing said Kathryn Knott allegedly pummeled the victims.Read more(ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

ON THE second day of the Center City gay-bashing assault trial, Michelle Moore, who witnessed part of the attack, told a jury that defendant Kathryn Knott pounded one of the victims.

"A woman was punching a man on the ground," Moore, 21, testified yesterday. "She had blond hair."

Moore had picked Knott out of a photo array of eight women as the person she had seen punching the man.

Knott, 25, of Southampton, Bucks County, is on trial before a Philadelphia Common Pleas jury on charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy, and related offenses in the Sept. 11, 2014, attack on Zachary Hesse and his boyfriend, Andrew Haught.

Moore said she and two girlfriends were waiting at a bus stop on Walnut Street near 16th that night when "we heard a loud noise," then ran toward the commotion.

They ran south on 16th Street. At the intersection of Chancellor, an alley just south of Walnut, they saw "a bunch of white kids all dressed nicely," she said, with some fighting and some looking on as bystanders.

She said she saw two people hitting two others and heard "faggot."

Asked by Assistant District Attorney Michael Barry if she saw a woman do anything, Moore testified that she saw the blonde woman punching one of the victims.

She said the woman "had a whitish, whitish-black dress."

Knott, in videos shown from that night, had blonde hair and was in a white dress. Videos also showed another woman in her group who had on a black dress and brown hair.

At the end of the fight, Knott's group of about 15 people fled, heading north on 16th Street, Moore said.

Left behind on Chancellor Street were two men. One was on the ground, bleeding - "I thought he was dead," Moore said. "The other man was stumbling."

On Thursday, one of Moore's friends, Rachel Mondesir, testified that during the fight, she saw a woman with a dress on - "I believe it was white" - who "punched a guy in a blue shirt."

Hesse was wearing a blue Polo shirt that night.

The group of people with the woman "made a big deal" of the punch, screaming out "Oh!" because "a female hit a guy; it's not an everyday thing," Mondesir said.

Mondesir said it looked like the woman threw a punch to defend a man she was with, who was involved in the fight.

During cross-examination, Knott's defense attorney, Louis Busico, brought out inconsistencies in the description of the woman who was seen punching.

Moore yesterday confirmed she previously told police the woman's dress was mostly black, with some white.

On Thursday, Mondesir said she believed the woman in the white dress was a brunette.

Hesse, 29, testified Thursday, on the first day of the trial. Haught, 28, testified yesterday.

Both told jurors that about 10:30 that night, they were walking on Chancellor Street, nearing 16th, when a man in a group walking on 16th - identified by attorneys as Kevin Harrigan - asked Hesse if Haught was his "f---ing boyfriend."

After Hesse confirmed Haught was his boyfriend, Harrigan then said, "So, you're dirty f---ing faggots," Haught told jurors.

Harrigan got closer to Hesse, then Hesse got closer to Harrigan, and then more people in Harrigan's group just started pushing Hesse "and getting up in his face," Haught testified.

During that time, Harrigan and others in his group were yelling "faggot," Haught said. He identified Knott in court as one of the people screaming "faggot."

In a statement Haught gave to police about a week after the attack, he also said Knott was one of the people "swinging" at Hesse.

Haught said in court that he was trying to move toward his boyfriend to defuse the situation when "someone bear-hugged me from the side" and "my glasses flew off," so he couldn't see.

He said he was dragged toward a Dumpster on the sidewalk on Chancellor Street.

Then, Haught said, "out of nowhere," another man in Harrigan's group - Philip Williams - rushed toward Haught and punched him multiple times.

Haught said he ended up on the ground, unconscious. When he came to, a woman police officer was at the scene, and he was taken to a hospital.

Moore and Mondesir also testified that they helped Haught, who was lying on the ground, bleeding and motionless.

Haught spent five days at Hahnemann University Hospital.

Andrew Miller, who in September 2014 was the chief resident in oral surgery at Hahnemann University Hospital, testified that Haught suffered fractures to his jawbone and to his eye area.

Miller said Haught's jaw had to be wired shut with metal bars secured in place by 16 screws.

Haught said his jaw was wired shut for eight weeks.

Williams, 25, of Warminster and Harrigan, 27, of Warrington, both in Bucks County, were also charged in the attack. They pleaded guilty in October and were sentenced under plea deals to probation and community service. Only Knott took her case to trial.


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