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Fair,31°
Friday, November 21, 2014
'I almost lost everything'
(Page 4 of 4)
Robert Giugliano and his daughter, Dina, are grateful for the lives they have after a fateful day 20 years ago.

“I know I have an impossible request, Your Honor, but given five minutes alone with Colin Ferguson, this coward would know the meaning of suffering. Five minutes. That’s all I need with you,” Giugliano said then.

On his way out of the court, Giugliano stared down Ferguson and told him to “look at these eyes. Remember these eyes. You’re nothing but a piece of garbage,” while being held back by officers.

“That’s the last I saw of him,” Giugliano said, “but it helped. I won’t say it gave me closure; it didn’t. I don’t think I’ll ever get closure. But it helped me accept what happened a little bit more.”

Ferguson was convicted on Feb. 17, 1995, of murder for the six passengers he killed and of attempted murder for the 19 he wounded. He was sentenced by Belfi, who called Ferguson “a selfish, self-righteous, coward,” to 315 years and eight months in prison.

Since then, however, both Dina and her father have changed their outlooks on life.

Dina, who owns Kashmir Hands, a massage therapy and yoga studio in Franklin Square, said that she is even more thankful for having her father in her life after all the troubles she hears about from her clients.

“I look back now,” Dina said, “and every time I look at his face, just to know that my father is in my life, everything I’ve been through in the past 32 years and heard about clients losing their loved ones; I look in the mirror every day and just say ‘thank you.’ I thank God my father is alive. When you’re in the moments of talking about the shooting, it’s like a flashback. I can cry my eyes out. Makes you value life.”

Giugliano moved from Franklin Square to Howard Beach, Queens in 2007 and lives with his fiancé, Maria. He works as an electrical contractor. He said he is grateful for every day and the way he lives is a direct result of that fateful day 20 years ago.

“If I want a watch and I can afford it, I’m buying it,” he said. “If I want that car, then you know what? I’m going to buy it. I’m getting what I want. It wasn’t like that before. I had to pay a price for it, but I’m very happy with where my life is now. I live each day like it’s my last.”

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