New York teenager charged with stabbing at O’Shae Sibley may plead self-defense

A Brooklyn teenager charged with the fatal stabbing of dancer O’Shae Sibley could file a self-defense lawsuit after a grand jury indicted him on murder and hate crime charges, his attorney said Friday.

Defense attorney Mark Pollard said he “strongly believes” 17-year-old Dmitriy Popov had reasons to allegedly stab Sibley to death while the professional dancer was singing a Beyoncé song outside a convenience store in Coney Island.

“Once I have all the evidence, I have a strong belief that we will go into self-defense and that he had reasonable grounds to reasonably believe he needed to defend himself in that situation,” Pollard said in the Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Popov, wearing a blue hoodie, black pants and a new updo, pleaded not guilty to his second-degree murder hate crime charge before Judge Craig Walker.

According to prosecutors, Popov, who will turn 18 later this year, will be charged as an adult.

Pollard said he is awaiting additional evidence — such as more video of the deadly altercation — that could show Popov defending himself.

O'Shae Sibley is pictured
O’Shae Sibley was stabbed last week after a group of teenagers claimed they were offended by his dancing.
Say O. Dumure Versailles/Facebook

On August 5, 2023, people erect a makeshift memorial for O'Shea Sibley
On August 5, 2023, people erect a makeshift memorial for O’Shea Sibley.
Getty Images

Video obtained by The Post shows two groups of people getting into a heated discussion in the parking lot of a mobile station on Coney Island Avenue, where 28-year-old Sibley was fatally stabbed on July 29.

According to prosecutors, Popov and two others – after some back-and-forth – allegedly threw homophonic and racial slurs at Sibley and his four friends and demanded, “Get that gay shit out of here.”

Sibley tried to defuse the situation while Popov allegedly continued to harass the group, eventually pointing a knife at one of Sibley’s friends and stabbing Sibley in the side of his chest, piercing his heart, prosecutors say.

Pictured is attorney Mark Pollard.
Mark Pollard defends 17-year-old Dmitriy Popov.
James Messerschmidt for NY Post

Pollard defended Popov – whose mother, Lana and grandmother, who did not give her name, were in court on Friday – by denying the teenager had made any anti-gay or anti-black remarks during the altercation.

“To my understanding, he didn’t do it [used hate speech]’ Pollard said. “I suspect other people who weren’t arrested did it. I don’t know why, but he didn’t know.”

He also claimed Popov was an average teenager living in Brooklyn with his Russian mother and about to start his senior year at The Professional Pathways Sheepshead High School.

He also clarified that Popov was a Christian, not a Muslim, and attended church frequently, which his mother confirmed in her only comment to the press after the indictment.

“There is nothing about his background or history that suggests he is the type of person to commit this crime,” Pollard said.

If convicted, Popov faces 20 years in prison for stabbing Sibley.

Dmitriy Popov's mother is pictured outside the Brooklyn courthouse
Dmitriy Popov’s mother attended her son’s indictment hearing on Friday morning.
James Messerschmidt for NY Post

Popov remains in custody at the Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center. His next court date is October 10.


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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