By Emily Saul (The New York Post)
August 9, 2016
Two Shomrim thugs who copped a cushy plea deal to dodge jail for beating a gay black man are now refusing to even do their community service — because it would be in a “culturally diverse neighborhood.’’
Pinchas Braver, 22, and Abraham Winkler, 42, admitted to helping to beat fashion student Taj Patterson as he walked down a Williamsburg street in December 2013.
Patterson was pummeled so badly, he suffered a broken orbital socket and torn retina, leaving him permanently blind in one eye.
Braver, Winkler and a third man — all members of the Orthodox Jewish watchdog patrol group — were charged with gang hate crime, which can carry a prison sentence of up to 25 years.
Braver and Winkler agreed to plead guilty to unlawful imprisonment in exchange for three years’ probation, paying $1,400 in restitution and performing 150 hours of community service in a “culturally diverse neighborhood.’’
But the men are now trying to shirk their obligations under the deal.
They went to court in Brooklyn Tuesday saying they want to volunteer only at Chai Lifeline, an organization for sick Jewish children.
Prosecutors asked that the men’s sentencing be delayed to give them time to evaluate Chai, which describes itself as an organization dedicated to offering “a number of services for Jewish children with life-threatening illness.”
The parties are set to return to court next Tuesday.
Though five defendants were originally charged in the beating, the charges against two of them — Aharon Hollender and Joseph Fried — were dropped in 2014 and 2015. The remaining defendant, Mayer Heskovic, has opted to head to trial. He will return to court on Aug. 23.
The group was accused of attacking Patterson, then 22, as he was leaving a party at about 5 a.m. They ordered him to his knees and started screaming anti-gay slurs before stomping and kicking him.
Patterson filed a lawsuit against the city and the NYPD in June, claiming that the Shomrim have been given “favorable and preferential treatment” for years.
He alleges in the court papers that the investigation into his assault was flubbed after high-powered Shomrim members placed calls to the 90th Precinct.
Braver was even given a tour of the 19th Precinct after his attack on Patterson. The precinct was run at the time by now-disgraced ex-NYPD Deputy Chief James Grant, who has since been indicted on charges of conspiracy, bribery and fraud for allegedly accepting payola from Jewish businessmen.