BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It was more than just a stupid prank; it was a push that ended in death in the waters of the Inner Harbor. Now the man who took that life is going to prison.
Alex DeMetrick reports the victim’s family is not calling it justice.
It was almost three years ago to the day that a visit to the Inner Harbor was the last day for a 22-year-old college student. Ankush Gupta couldn’t swim when he was pushed into the harbor by Wayne Black, who walked away while Gupta thrashed and struggled to save himself.
His drowning crushed his parents and now, three years later, they still weep.
“We wake up so many times and I think he’s sleeping but he’s gone,” said his father, Anoop Gupta.
“He was a great human being, very kind,” said his friend, Saneel Masih.
Black, who was originally charged with murder, took a plea deal and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. In return, a maximum sentence of 10 years was reduced to just four years in prison, leaving family and friends of the victim outraged.
“Injustice has been served,” Masih said.
Because of the sentence, his family is bringing a civil wrongful death suit against Black.
“When you lose a child, it’s not about recovering money, it’s about having justice for your family and for your son,” said the family’s lawyer Steven Silverman.
What was lost with a senseless push was more than one life, it was the future of a family.
“He killed somebody,” Masih said.
“I lost everything,” Gupta said.
Gupta’s family spoke of their loss in court while Black bowed his head and said he was sorry.
Although the maximum penalty for involuntary manslaughter is 10 years, under state sentencing guidelines, most convictions result in sentences between four months and four years.