Sunday, December 20, 2015

Charges dropped against Orthodox Jewish man accused in Williamsburg gang assault of gay black student 

Charges against a second Orthodox Jewish man accused of brutally beating a gay black man were dismissed, the Daily News has learned.

Joseph Fried, 27, was indicted along with four other Hasidic men for the December 2013 attack on 24-year-old Taj Patterson.

“We are dismissing this case in the interest of justice,” prosecutors said in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Friday.

Sources said the sole witness who fingered Fried had recently recanted. In March, a second defendant, Aharon Hollender, 29, had his case dismissed for the same reason.

Fried was facing up to 25 years in prison for first-degree gang assault and other charges.

Patterson was allegedly drunkenly walking home through the heavily Orthodox neighborhood when he was attacked.

“We are very happy the District Attorney did the right thing and dismissed the charges against an innocent person. I have tremendous respect for Ken Thompson for doing that,” Fried’s attorney Susan Necheles said.

Taj Patterson’s civil attorney did not return a request for comment.

The fashion student at New York City College of Technology filed a lawsuit last year against the five men who were indicted on gang assault charges.

The DA’s office declined to comment.

The three remaining defendants Abraham Winkler, 40, Mayer Herskovic, 22 and Pinchas Braver, 20, have scheduled court dates in February.


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