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Monday, September 13, 2010

Brooklyn, NY - Woman Who Alerted Police Week Before Perp Shooting At Shomrim Says NYPD Did A Poor Job

Brooklyn, NY – The Boro Park Shomrim member shot in the neck on Sept. 2 as he and other volunteers of the organization stopped an armed suspect was released from the hospital just in time to spend Rosh Hashanah with his family.

Motty Braunner is expected to recover fully, according to multiple sources.

Meanwhile, a Boro Park resident has told Hamodia that a week before the shooting, she called police after she and others witnessed the alleged triggerman acting in a lewd manner outside her 59th Street home. The insidious acts were committed in front of children — yet the NYPD has no record of a report.

Mrs. Faigie Friedman said she gave police descriptions of suspect David Flores and his car, and the car’s exact license number.

The call to police on Aug. 26 was placed by one of two Shomrim members who attempted to nab the suspect, Mrs. Friedman said. According to her, the two Shomrim members who chased the suspect then were among those who ended up getting shot in the Sept. 2 incident on 46th Street.

Dep. Commissioner Paul Browne, the NYPD’s top spokesman, was unavailable for comment yesterday. Another department spokesperson said no complaint report is on record for the Aug. 26 call.

In an interview with Hamodia yesterday, a distraught Shomrim member lamented that a violent perpetrator was allowed to slip away and commit serious crimes a week later. The neighborhood patrol volunteer corroborated Mrs. Friedman’s account.

In an email to Hamodia yesterday, the NYPD acknowledged that “officers from the 66th precinct responded to a 911 call to that location on August 26th. Police are investigating whether a report was made.”

In a phone interview with Hamodia yesterday, Boro Park Shomrim spokesman Simcha Bernath said he was unaware of any Shomrim run-in with Flores before the shooting on Sept. 2. However, he stated, he hasn’t yet debriefed the Shomrim members involved in the shooting incident or the organization’s dispatcher. If the police failed to file a report on Aug. 26, he said, he is confident that the precinct’s commander, Dep. Inspector John Sprague, will address the issue head-on. “He’s a straight shooter,” Mr. Bernath said.

Of the four Shomrim members who were hit by bullets, Joel Klein, who was struck in the stomach, remains hospitalized. He is in stable condition and expected to be released by the end of the week, according to Boro Park Shomrim coordinator Simcha Bernath.

Abe Kaztow and Motty Pearl were released from Lutheran Medical Center shortly after the attack. Kaztow was struck in the hand; Pearl was struck in the arm and shoulder.

The Sept. 2 melee occurred on 46th Street near 10th Avenue. A group of Shomrim patrol volunteers approached Flores, who was in a car, after reports that he had been prey ing on children. As they approached, Flores allegedly got out and opened fire. Accounts regarding how many times he shot range from six to 15.

Two previous encounters
Mrs. Friedman gave the following account. At about 3 p.m. on Aug. 25, Mrs. Friedman was on the porch of the three-family home where she resides. A dark gray car double-parked for 15 minutes in front of the house. The driver, who she says was Flores, then moved the car to a spot across the street for several minutes before speeding off. “An instinct told me write down his license plate number, and that’s what I did,” she told Hamodia.

The car returned to the same spot in front of her home 15 minutes later. Flores rolled down the passenger window, and stayed another 15 to 20 minutes.
Mrs. Friedman and another resident of the house became nervous about the situation because a bunch of children were playing in the vicinity. The other resident asked the driver if he was waiting for someone, and he said yes.

“We both didn’t like that answer. It sounded strange,” Mrs. Friedman said, adding that her position afforded a clear view of Flores’s face.
Again, the car left, and returned a third time about 15 minutes later.

Mrs. Friedman called Shomrim. When they showed up and blocked Flores in, he drove off.

The next afternoon, the same car doubleparked in front of the Friedman residence. Flores was wearing sunglasses this time.

Children playing nearby ran into the Friedman home. Mrs. Friedman called Shomrim while standing at a window watching Flores. At that point, she and her two teenaged daughters observed him commit indecent acts.

The same two Shomrim members responded to the scene and attempted to block the perpetrator’s car. Desperate to escape, Flores pulled onto the sidewalk and drove away. “There were a whole bunch of old people outside,” by a senior center on the corner, Mrs. Friedman said. “They were yelling hysterically” and he almost ran some of them over.

Shomrim pursued the car but couldn’t keep up. One of the volunteers shortly returned to the Friedman home and called 911.

Mrs. Friedman said she has a photo of the officer who respond ed and the marked police car.

She claims that an officer criticized her for calling Shomrim, because their presence alerts offenders that they’re being surveilled, yet they lack the same means to capture fleeing offenders.

Mrs. Friedman claims that police simply told her, “We know what we have to do.”

Day of the shooting
After the two incidents on Aug. 25 and 26, Mrs. Friedman told family members and neighbors about the suspect and his car, and passed on his license plate number.

On Sept. 2, about 7:15 p.m., Mrs. Friedman’s sister, who lives on 41st Street near Fort Hamilton Parkway, spotted the car and called Shomrim, who were already familiar with the suspect. Mrs. Friedman then called her other sister, who lives around the corner, and she soon saw the car, too. That sister called Shomrim and police.

Acting on the multiple tips, Shomrim caught up to the car about 20 minutes later. The confrontation and shooting followed.

Flores, 33, is charged with assault in the first, second and third degrees; criminal possession and use of a firearm; reckless endangerment; and menacing. The DA’s office said more charges related to indecent conduct could be filed soon.

Police said Flores lives in Harrisburg, Pa., but he is believed to reside locally. Flores has nine prior arrests. He pleaded guilty to indecent behavior in January.

In Mrs. Friedman’s view, police missed a chance to reel in a dangerous criminal on Aug. 26, a week before the shooting of the Shomrim volunteers.
“If they would have just circled Boro Park for a half hour,” she surmises, “they would have caught him.”

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