Eliyahu Werdesheim Takes The Stand In Baltimore Shomrim Trial
One of the brothers accused of assaulting a teen in Northwest Baltimore took the stand Wednesday morning in order to testify that he was defending himself.
“I didn’t want to hurt him. I just wanted to keep myself safe,” Eliyahu Werdesheim told Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Pamela J. White.
Eliyahu Werdesheim, 24, and his brother Avi Werdesheim, 22, are accused of hitting Corey Ausby, 16, with a walkie talkie, issued to Eliyahu by Shomrim, an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood watch group that patrols the Park Heights neighborhood. Eliyahu was a member of the group on Nov. 19, 2010 when the alleged crime occurred.
For about 30 minutes Wednesday morning without interruption Eliyahu provided the narrative of the moments surrounding the incident.
Eliyahu said that he and Avi were driving home when they received a call that there was a suspicious person nearby. They observed Ausby walking in yards, disappearing behind a home and pulling the door handle of an SUV parked in a driveway, Eliyahu said.
The Werdesheim brothers eventually got out of the car and addressed Ausby, who became agitated, Eliyahu said, adding that Ausby walked away from them. Ausby then went and pulled a board off of a wooden pallet that was in front of a home under construction. Ausby began carrying the board with him down the street away from the brothers.
“He was keeping it low by his side,” Eliyahu said. Ausby was “lightly swinging it…with the momentum of his steps,” he said.
Eliyahu then noticed a middle-aged woman walking her dog down the block from Ausby and he decided that he would try to speak to Ausby again, Eliyahu said.
Eliyahu got out of the car again, he said, and Ausby quickly turned and ran at him holding the board above his head.
At that time, Eliyahu noticed that there were nails sticking out of the board. In response, Eliyahu grabbed Ausby’s right arm, which was swinging the board toward Eliyahu’s head, and hit Ausby on the head with his walkie talkie, Eliyahu said.
“In hindsight, I very much regret the decision” to get out of the car, Eliyahu told White.
At about noon, Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Wiggins was beginning his cross-examination of Eliyahu.