AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man who started throwing punches outside a pizza trailer in downtown Austin received 10 years probation Wednesday. The incident in 2012 was caught on surveillance video. Police called the video evidence “plain as day.”
Andrew Oppleman, one of the men Lambert Borgardt punched, lost five teeth as a result of the attack. The other, Nick Soret, had a fractured nose. Borgardt pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault.
“It was a very, uh, intense. As hard as he could, it looked like to me,” said Soret, testifying at Wednesday’s sentencing.
A judge sentenced Borgardt to 10 years deferred adjudication, meaning he won’t go to prison, but is essentially on probation the whole time and will do community service.
This incident happened during Austin’s Gay Pride Weekend, and the men Borgardt punched said they believed they were targeted because they were gay. A grand jury decided not to charge Borgardt with a hate crime.
Soret and Oppleman stopped at the pizza trailer on their way to the Gay Pride Parade. Borgardt argued with the two, then punched each in the face. During his sentencing, the 30-year-old said he’s sorry.
“I apologize from the bottom of my heart, and I’ll do whatever it takes, whatever I can, whatever can work to pay you guys back for that,” said Borgardt.
Oppleman says he thinks the remorse wasn’t sincere.
“I feel like it was an apology for the situation he’s in rather than a direct apology for what he did and why he did it,” said Oppleman.
Defense Attorney Bill Hines says he thinks 10 years is a lot, but isn’t unhappy with the decision for his client, who served in the armed forces.
“We’re pleased that the judge did the difficult work of balancing the really serious injuries with the incredible lifetime of honor and service [Borgardt] had in the military,” said Bill Hines.
Though the attack was never labeled a hate crime, the two still question the motive behind it. Wednesday’s sentencing was for Oppleman’s case, and a case involving Soret is still on the docket. Borgardt could get up to a year behind bars in that case.