Saturday, October 18, 2014
A Latino gang member who converted to Judaism and became a Hasidic rabbi is accused of impersonating a police officer several times, including to pull over an NJ Transit bus after the driver cut him off
Roberto Eddy Santos changed his name to Avorham Gross and assumed the identity of a rabbi, after serving 10 years in Sing Sing for violent robberies. He was formerly a member of the Latin Kings in Brooklyn in the 1990s. Prosecutors say that Gross used a fake badge and other fake documents to pretend he was a member of a non-existent "child abuse prevention task force." Gross helped police arrest a woman he thought broke into his car. In a separate incident, he is accused of using lights and sirens in his own car to pull over a NJ Transit bus after the driver cut him off. Gross is facing charges for conspiracy and possession of a forged instrument. Police are investigating whether Gross' time spent as a rabbi was a scheme or a "genuine conversion," Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said.