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15-year term imposed in beating

Edward Pagan was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for attacking a 93-year-old widower in the Cheektowaga apartment complex where Pagan used to work.

State Supreme Court Justice John L. Michalski told Pagan, 58, he was fortunate that Albert Krotz maintained such good health, "or you might be facing sentencing on a homicide."

Krotz, the retired owner of a Kenmore hardware store, told the judge that, despite suffering a broken jaw and bleeding in the brain, he feels sorry for Pagan.

Pagan pleaded guilty Jan. 19 to first-degree burglary and first-degree assault in the attack last May 22 in the bedroom of Krotz's Concord Drive apartment, prosecutor Maura O'Donnell said.

Pagan was chief maintenance man at the apartment complex, O'Donnell said.

Krotz later said he believes Pagan assumed he wasn't home the day of the burglary because he had parked his car in the garage that day.

Krotz said he was on his bed reading a letter when Pagan came in, saw him and repeatedly punched him in the face -- "bing, bing, bing like I was a punching bag."

Krotz, who attributes his recovery to the vitamin supplements he has been taking since 1960, said he was feeling "a little better each day, but my equilibrium is off."

John K Jordan, Pagan's attorney, said his client is "really remorseful" and insists he "didn't mean to hurt Mr. Krotz but was done in by his drug addiction."

O'Donnell said Pagan has been in custody since his arrest six days after the attack. Krotz was able to identify his attacker while still hospitalized in Erie County Medical Center.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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