Henican: 'Hiram the Acrobat' makes dazzling escape
He’s not Hiram the Senator. He’s Hiram the Acrobat.
First, he performed a gravity-defying, dead-of-night leap through the air, simultaneously slamming a drinking glass against the face of his girlfriend, slicing her flesh open and sending the shards everywhere.
But that wasn’t Hiram the Acrobat’s great feat.
His greatest feat was convincing a judge in Queens that the leap-through-the-air glass slam was entirely an accident. Swinging through the courtroom on that bold claim, Albany’s nimblest senator was acquitted of felony assault and convicted only of the misdemeanor of roughly hustling the girlfriend out the door of his apartment building after she was cut.
And why would he react with such guilty panic if the slash was an accident? No one ever said bench verdicts have to make sense.
The conviction, even the lesser one, is proof beyond all doubt what a self-centered cad the acrobatic senator most certainly is. But it carries a maximum of one year in jail instead of seven in prison. No Flying Wallenda ever leapt so improbably or so far.
Still, the crowd isn’t cheering. Not yet.
Hiram the Acrobat, a former police officer and city councilman and now a freshman Democratic state senator, may have convinced his girlfriend, and may have even convinced the judge. But now he must face a judgment of decency and common sense.
On a night of bitter argument, he jabs open his girlfriend’s face, doesn’t call 911 and manhandles her to a hospital far outside his district instead of the Elmhurst emergency room just a short drive away.
Had he been convicted of the felony, he’d have automatically been removed from office, throwing the narrowly divided state Senate into a fresh round of uproar.
But still facing time behind bars, what comes next — for him, his Jackson Heights district and the power balance in Albany?
If the man had perspective on any of this, he’d resign his seat immediately.
He’s dragged his district and his party through enough already, that’s for sure. God only knows why the girlfriend sticks with him.
But for now at least, she’s still standing by her slasher. And he’s still flying through the air.