Monday, December 9, 2013

Hispanic relives beating by Brooklyn Jewish patrol

A Latino acquitted of attempted murder after shooting four members of a Borough Park community-watch group in self-defense says that his attackers were yelling, “Kill him, he’s a f–king Muslim!” “I hope you die, you son of a bitch!" one of the Brooklyn men hissed at David Flores, 37, before shooting him, Flores said. Flores — who is Christian but thinks the Jewish vigilantes from the Boro Park Shomrim mistook his religion because he was wearing a small woven cap — took a bullet to his left arm. Flores, a Brooklyn native who now lives in Pennsylvania, said that he was simply driving from his childhood home to a nearby bakery to buy pastries on Sept. 2, 2010, when a van stopped short in front of him. A mob of about 20 Hasidic men quickly surrounded his car and began banging on his windows and kicking his doors — with one Shomrim member brandishing a black gun, Flores said. The Shomrim members allegedly thought that he had been masturbating in his car. “They say, ‘Get him out of the car, he’s a f–king Muslim!’ ” Flores said. “They had this look that was just complete rage. They wanted my blood.” Flores said that when he opened the door to try to escape, he was yanked out. “They’re punching me and kicking me, and I’m being tossed like a rag doll,” said Flores, who had a small .22-caliber handgun in his pocket. “I took the safety off [the gun] and began firing,” Flores said. “I wanted it to stop. I never wanted to hurt anybody.” Prosecutors argued at his Brooklyn Supreme Court trial that the Shomrim members jumped Flores — who has a long rap sheet — only after he pulled his gun. Flores didn’t testify. “He came out from his car shooting. Once he started shooting, he was jumped,” maintained Boro Park Shomrim coordinator Jacob Daskal, who insisted nobody yelled anything at Flores. Flores was convicted on an illegal-gun charge, for which he could still face up to 15 years behind bars. “Though he was rightly convicted of carrying a weapon, the jury agreed that the weapon was used to protect his life,” said his lawyer, Doug Appel. Flores’ past criminal record includes 20 arrests for everything from burglary to assault.

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