ROTTERDAM — The man accused of slapping a 13-year-old boy inside a gas station pleaded guilty this week to disorderly conduct, a violation, officials said.
In return for his plea, Joel T. Malek agreed to perform 50 hours of community service and complete an anger management course, his attorney, Steve Kouray, said Friday. Malek completed both ahead of Thursday's plea.
Malek, 38, of 2312 Turner Ave., Schenectady, originally faced two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanors, and one count of violation harassment in the Feb. 18 incident.
The case gained widespread attention in March as Rotterdam police released surveillance video from the Burdeck Street Sunoco station, where it happened, hoping to learn the identity of the man.
Police credited tips from the public with leading them to Malek.
The video showed a man in a light, buttoned-down shirt entering the station, immediately directing words at two boys, one standing and one seated. The man then turned toward the seated boy, raised his right hand and slapped him.
The boys told police the incident began on West Campbell Road when a black sport utility vehicle traveling in the same direction swerved at them and almost hit them, according to court documents.
They continued on and stopped at the Sunoco, when the driver of the sport utility vehicle entered and confronted them. Police did not have Malek's account of the incident.
Kouray said there was more to the story. Had the video included audio, that would have been evident, he said. He declined to give Malek's account, saying his client wants to move on with his life.
"We're not saying what he did was right, but it would have explained why," Kouray said.
The prosecutor in the case could not be reached for comment.
Officers had Malek's name as a possible suspect within hours of the video's release. They found Malek's Facebook page, compared photos and determined he was the man in the video.