Man Who Shot 4 Shomrim Members Acquitted On All But One Charge
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The Brooklyn man who shot four Borough Park Shomrim members in 2010 after they mobbed his car in an attempt to prevent him from escaping was acquitted on almost all of the charges against him, the NY Daily News reported.
Jurors reportedly placed a large part of the blame for the incident on the Shomrim members who lack police powers and do not legally have the right to detain suspects.
"The Shomrim can't decide if they're going to be judge, jury and executioner in the middle of the street," juror Niccole Person reportedly said after the verdict.
"They're not cops," another juror, Marco Wylie, reportedly said.
A third juror, Steve McAllister, noted that a large part of the police reports on the incident did not jibe with eyewitness witness testimony.
"Odds are he may not have acted in self-defense but we didn't have enough proof to convict him. There's a chance that people [in the Shomrim] got carried away.…[The verdict] can show the Shomrim in a bad light. That's the one thing I feel bad about,” McAllister reportedly said, noting that the descrepencies between the police reports and the eyewitness testimony left reasonable doubts in the jurors’ minds about the public lewdness charge, as well.
In all, Flores was acquitted of attempted murder, assault and 13 other charges and was only convicted of gun possession.
Shomrim members boxed in Flores and tried to pull him out of his car because they believed he had masturbated in front of local children.
Prosecutors argued unconvincingly that Shomrim only beat Flores after he displayed a gun.
Four Shomrim members – Abe Kaztow, Abraham Brauner, Joel Klein and Motty Perl – were all shot and lightly wounded as was Flores, who shot himself in his own arm during the melee.
Flores's attorneys argued Flores acted in self-defense as the angry Shomrim mob surrounded Flores’ car and tried to drag him outside of it.
"Call the police," a groggy, badly beaten Flores reportedly told medics who arrived on the scene to treat him – even though police were already there.
Shomrim denied beating or even touching Flores.
"Nobody did anything wrong. Nobody even touched him, just followed him - that's the protocol,” Borough Park Shomrim’s coordinator, Jacob Daskal, said after Flores beat all but one of the charges. He also reportedly said that accepts the jury's decision.
Flores reportedly faces between 5 to 15 years on the gun charge. He has already spent more than 3 years in prison waiting for his trial.