Brother of Shomrim member charged in assault now also faces charges

Pair face second-degree assault, related charges

January 21, 2011|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

The brother of a man charged with assaulting a black teenager while a member of a Jewish neighborhood patrol group has now been charged in the same incident, the city state's attorney's office announced Friday.

Avi Werdesheim, 20, faces the same charges as his brother, Eliyalu Eliezer Werdesheim, 23, in the November 19 incident in Northwest Baltimore, according to a news release from the state's attorney's office. Eliyalu Eliezer Werdesheim was charged on January 20.

State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein said in a statement that the new charges are the result of a continuing investigation. Mark R. Cheshire, spokesman for the state's attorney's office, did not immediately return calls seeking comment Friday.

Charging documents said that Eliyalu Werdesheim approached the teen last November while he was standing in the 3300 block of Fallstaff Road. The teen told police another man threw him to the ground while Werdesheim struck him in the head with his radio and shouted, "You wanna [expletive] with us, you don't belong around here, get outta here!"

A felony assault charge against the elder Werdesheim brother, a community college student who is also a former Israeli special-forces soldier, was dismissed Thursday. That day, his attorney, Andrew I. Alperstein, also said he no longer participates in Shomrim, whose Orthodox Jewish members patrol Northwest Baltimore.

The brothers are charged with false imprisonment, second-degree assault, and possession of a deadly weapon and face a maximum of 10 years if convicted. Both are scheduled to be arraigned in Baltimore City Circuit Court on Feb. 16.

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