LETTER: Werdesheim Brothers' Trial Blown Out of Proportion
In a letter to the editor of the "Baltimore Sun," an Upper Park Heights resident explains why he believes the media erred in comparing the Baltimore incident to the George Zimmerman trial in Florida.
This month, a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge convicted Eliyahu Werdesheim of second-degree assault and false imprisonment of a 15-year-old boy in a Nov. 19, 2010, incident in Upper Park Heights.
His sentencing is set for June 27.
Werdesheim, who was 22 at the time, was a member of a neighborhood watch group patroling the neighborhood when he allegedly saw the teen, Corey Ausby, go up to a house and then allegedly lift up door handles on cars, witnesses said during the trial.
Werdesheim's attorneys say he acted in self defense after the teen allegedly swung a board with nails protruding from it.
Werdesheim's younger brother who was with him on patrol was cleared of the same charges.
In a letter to the editor of the Baltimore Sun, Upper Park Heights resident Samuel A. Zervitz says the media, including the Sun, erred in finding similarities between the local case and the case of George Zimmerman in Florida.
Zimmerman was also a member of a neighborhood watch group.
Among his comments, Zervitz makes note of earlier media reports after the incident that noted anti-Semitism was involved. The Werdsheims are Jewish.
"The anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism leveled at Jews 18 months ago somehow got omitted here. Members of community groups accused the brothers of what they felt they were doing to Arabs in Israel," Zervitz said.
He said that, in the future, neighborhood watch groups won't be as effective because of the verdict.
What do you think of Zervitz's observations? How were the cases similar, and how were they different? Are you pleased with the verdict? Do you think, as Zervitz does, that neighborhood watch groups' effect on crime will be weakened because of the outcome of the Werdesheims trial?