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Second witness implicates Knott in punching victim

A second witness to a group assault on a gay couple in Center City last year Friday implicated Kathryn Knott as the woman who punched one of the victims.

A second witness to a group assault on a gay couple in Center City last year Friday implicated Kathryn Knott as the woman who punched one of the victims.

Knott, 25, of Southampton, Bucks County, who is not in custody and has pleaded not guilty, is on trial before a Philadelphia Common Pleas jury on charges of aggravated assault, conspiracy, and related offenses.

Michelle Moore, 21, testified that she and two girlfriends were waiting at a bus stop on Walnut Street, near 16th, on the night of Sept. 11, 2014, when "we heard a loud noise," then ran toward the commotion.

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

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

Asked by Assistant District Attorney Michael Barry if she saw a woman do anything, Moore testified that "a woman was punching a man on the ground. She had blonde hair."

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, the group, of about 15 people, ran away, 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."

The two men who were attacked were a gay couple, Andrew Haught, now 28, and Zachary Hesse, now 29, who were just walking on Chancellor Street about 10:40 p.m. that night, out for a pizza.

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 on Friday confirmed that she had previously told police detectives about a week after the incident that the woman's dress was majority black, with some white.

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

Hesse testified Thursday, on the first day of the trial. Haught testified Friday morning.

Both told jurors that they were just walking on Chancellor Street, approaching 16th Street, when a man in a group walking north 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. In a statement Haught gave to a police detective 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, where he was treated for a broken jaw and got stitches for an open gash on his face.

He had to have his jaw wired shut - with Phillips-head screws literally screwed into his jawbone, he said - for about eight weeks, during which his teeth were clenched shut and he could only ingest liquids. He lost at least 15 pounds.

After the attack, authorities charged Knott, Williams and Harrigan with aggravated assault and related offenses.

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

Knott is the daughter of Karl Knott, police chief in Chalfont Borough, Bucks County.