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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Baltimore, MD - Brother of Shomrim Member Charged in Beating

Baltimore Shomrim

A second suspect has been charged in an alleged attack on a teen in Northwest Baltimore last year, and prosecutors say he is the brother of the first suspect. Both appear to be members of the volunteer community patrol group Shomrim, and the charges against Avi Werdesheim come a day after prosecutors dropped felony assault charges against the first suspect, Eli Werdesheim.

The incident rekindled tensions in the city's black and Jewish communities in Northwest Baltimore. The teen who was assaulted was black; as a Shomrim member, Werdesheim and others patrol the community and have been praised with improving public safety. But the Shomrim members have been accused of taking that too far, breaking the teen's wrist and shouting that he "didn't belong" in the neighborhood.

Critics had questioned why, given the accusation that three men were involved in the alleged assault, that police had only charged one person. In a statement, prosecutors say the charges grew out of a continuing investigation by prosecutors and police. Both suspects will have an arraignment on Feb. 16.

Avi Werdsheim, according to his LinkedIn profile, works at the same security company as his brother. Court records show that Avi was charged through a criminal information on Jan. 20.

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