Brooklyn, NY - NYPD: Assault By Peach A Felony Under NY Law, Prompting Jail Time In Williamsburg Hoverboard Incident
Brooklyn, NY - It was anything but business as usual at a Williamsburg grocery store last Thursday night, when a request by managers, who asked an allegedly disruptive customer to leave the premises, escalated into violence and culminated with three arrests.
Police said that the incident took place on June 9th at approximately 10 PM at Central Market, located on Division Avenue.
A 24 year old woman whose young cousin had been riding a hoverboard in the store was asked to leave the premises. Julissa Soto later told police that she was tackled to the ground by one Chasidic store manager and struck in the face by a flying peach hurled at her by another.
Police said that the woman, who was wearing glasses at the time of the incident, sustained swelling to both her shoulder and her face and a laceration to her face.
The woman returned to Central Market shortly thereafter with her father, who was captured on store video punching one of the managers in the face several times before police arrived on scene.
Police arrested the two managers, 29 year old Matis Edelstein and 21 year old Abraham Spielman, as well as the father, 41 year old James Soto. All three were charged with assault. Spielman, who allegedly tackled the woman, and Soto were both released with desk appearance tickets.
Edelstein, who allegedly threw the peach, was sent to Central Booking, prompting angry responses from community members who felt that Edelstein was treated unfairly and should not have received any jail time.
An unnamed police source told VIN News that Edelstein’s more severe charges were due to the nuances of penal law, which distinguishes between hitting someone with your hand or another object.
“There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding circulating about the law,” said the unnamed source. “If you hit someone with your hand, that is a misdemeanor. But by virtue of him using anything other than his hand, it is automatically considered to be a dangerous instrument and is classified as a felony.”
The unnamed source said that while Edelstein’s incarceration may have seemed unjust, it was dictated by the law. The source also noted the store managers, the woman and her father, all acted inappropriately.
In a video interview this morning, the store manager disputed the woman’s account of events, saying that she had been in the store with several children and, upset that they were asked to leave the premises, the group went outside and started a full scale peach fight, using fruit from an outdoor display.
The manager said that Edelstein and Spielman were indoors when the fruit fight took place but that when police arrived on scene, the woman randomly identified them as being responsible for her injuries.
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