Stuart Sugarman admits he makes noise in his spin class. Loud grunts, to be specific. "You know how Jimmy Connors sounded when he hit a tennis ball?" says the investment banker. "Like that."
But on the evening of Aug. 15, it was apparently too much for a fellow spinner, stockbroker Christopher Carter, 44, at an Equinox Fitness Club in Manhattan. As the class began, the music picked up and some 50 participants, mostly women, began their warm-up. "There's intense music, and an energy that builds in the room," says Sugarman, 48, a bachelor and avid golfer, who adds he shouted, "You go, girl!" at one point. According to Sugarman, Carter shot him a dirty look. Words were exchanged. Then Carter allegedly approached him, lifted up his bike and slammed it into a wall. Sugarman, according to his doctor, suffered a concussion and has since undergone surgery for a herniated disc.
"Utter fabrication," counters Carter's attorney Michael Farkas, who refuses to provide details of the incident. Carter has been charged with misdemeanor assault. Equinox won't elaborate on the incident, but one instructor at the gym said that while Sugarman "hoots and hollers" during class, "the guy who created this problem was Chris." She adds, "It's a gym, for God's sake. It's supposed to be fun."