- Joined Jul 16, 2002
Helayne Seidman and Paul Martinka
STICK-LER: Gersh Gofman, 83, canceled a surgical appointment to fight the case in court. (left)
BELTED: Steve Pulwers, 99, says: "In my face, I feel pain. A lot."
Old coots take Brooklyn street fight to court
Battle of the geezers[h2]http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/..._brooklyn_street_fight_xYXTCMQ9je2cxAKuN71YGL[/h2]
By ALEX GINSBERG
An 83-year-old Brooklyn brawler, charged with thrashing a man who's al most 100, vowed yesterday to go down swinging as he rejected a no-jail plea offer.
In fact, octogenarian Gersh Gofman was so ready to fight, he pushed back a surgical appointment to battle the case in court.
"He has a hernia," his lawyer, Michael Pate, told Justice Danny Chun. "He needs to get that taken care of."
Prosecutors offered Gofman the chance to plead guilty to second-de gree attempted assault in exchange for probation, a deal Pate promptly turned down.
Outside the courtroom, Gofman showed he still had it by shaking a reporter's hand with vice-like intensity.
"I'm an old man," he quipped.
The brief court appearance was Gofman's first since a grand jury indicted him for second-degree assault and weapons possession in con nection with a Jan. 18 rumpus in front of Steve Pulwers' Fort Hamilton Parkway home.
Pulwers, 99, maintains that Gofman was blocking the driveway to a doctor's office with his car, and that the younger man flew into a rage when Pulwers asked him to move it.
Gofman's lawyer contends that his client -- who wanted the car where it was so that his ailing wife wouldn't have to walk too far -- moved it when asked.
Pulwers, who'll turn 100 in two weeks, said his recovery has been difficult.
"In my face, I feel pain. A lot," he said. "I take, every day, Tylenols, three times."
The bizarre incident has upended the lives of the two men, both refugees from the Communist Bloc who found a new home in Brooklyn.
Pulwers fled the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 for the USSR, only to spend years in a refugee camp in Kazakhstan. He endured more than two decades in communist Poland after the war before settling in the United States in 1968.
"I am the last in my family," said Pulwers, referring to the 20 or so relatives he lost in the Holocaust.
Gofman, a Moscow-trained civil engineer, arrived in 1988, working as a building inspector for the Housing Authority.