NEW YORK (AP/PIX11) — Five men associated with a neighborhood watch group in Brooklyn have been indicted on gang assault and other charges in the savage beating of a 23-year-old man.
Taj Patterson was walking home along Flushing Avenue in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn on Dec. 1, 2013, when he was chased and surrounded by members of the Williamsburg Safety Patrol Unit who were investigating a report of vandalized cars.
Those reports were ultimately determined to be unfounded and instead of calling the police to report a possible lead in their probe, the group pounced on Patterson.
Patterson tried to get away, but authorities said several men in the group, which had grown to about 15, held him down and punched and kicked him. The attackers then fled after a passerby threatened to take pictures of them.
Patterson suffered several injuries, including a torn retina and a broken eye socket that left him blind in one eye.
If convicted, the following defendants each face up to 25 years in prison:
- Pinchas Braver, 19
- Mayer Herskovic, 21
- Abraham Winkler, 39
- Joseph Fried, 25
- Aharon Hollander, 28