A Brooklyn jury on Wednesday cleared a man of trying to kill four members of an Orthodox Jewish community-watch group — who’d cornered him because they thought he was masturbating in his car – saying the neighborhood patrol wrongly acted as “judge, jury, and executioner.”
David Flores, 37, shot four Shomrim members in 2010 after they blocked in his car and tried to pull him out because they thought he was pleasuring himself in their Borough Park neighborhood.
“The Shomrim can’t decide they’re going to be judge, jury, and executioner in the middle of the street.
That’s not the way the justice system is supposed to work,” said juror Niccole Person, 38, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, after the verdict.
“There were too many of them, he had to be fearful for his own life. He was well within his own rights to do that.”
The Pennsylvania man was found not guilty on a slew of charges including attempted murder, assault, and public lewdness – but was found guilty on an illegal gun rap and could still face 15 years behind bars on that charge.
Other jurors agreed Flores acted in self-defense and thought the evidence against him was shaky.
“The public lewdness charge was ridiculous. There was no solid evidence on that. They were trying to make him out to be some kind of pervert,” said juror Marco Wylie.
Defense attorney Doug Appel said his position has always been that Flores acted in self-defense after Shomrim members attacked him because they thought he was doing something wrong in their community.
“Instead of calling the police, somebody made the mistake of calling the Shomrim. Because of that decision the Shomrim surrounded his car, tried to break his window, and he used a gun he wasn’t supposed to have to defend himself,” Appel said.
Flores family members gathered outside Brooklyn Supreme to hug and thank the jurors.
“I started crying and screaming and holding my breath. I’m very happy. I knew justice would prevail,” said Flores mom Elia Miranda, 58.