A Brooklyn man convicted of brutally beating and partially blinding a gay, black student should give up the $131,000 his community raised for his legal defense, a lawsuit asserts.
Mayer Herskovic, 24, was convicted of gang assault in September and is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 18 for an attack that left Taj Patterson blind in one eye.
Herskovic and about 20 members of Shomrim, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community-watch group, set upon Patterson as he walked home from celebrating a friend’s birthday on Dec. 1, 2013, in Williamsburg.
The attackers claimed Patterson was vandalizing cars on Flushing Avenue, but Patterson was really just flipping in opposable side mirrors on vehicles as he walked by, according to reports on the trial.
An online fund-raiser for Orthodox Jewish causes called The Chesed Fund features a picture of two young kids and urges people to donate to help bring their “tatty” home; it doesn’t identify Herskovic by name, but a Brooklyn Supreme Court suit filed by Patterson identifies the fund-raiser as benefitting Herskovic.
A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge granted an order last week temporarily barring Herskovic from getting the funds, under the Son of Sam law, which prevents criminals from profiting from their crimes.
Andrew Stoll, Patterson’s lawyer, slammed what he called a “black market economy” that paid for Herskovic’s $50,000 cash bail and “high-powered lawyers” but “not a dime for an innocent young man who’s been victimized by the vigilante Shomrim.”
Herskovic’s lawyer says the effort to grab the community’s cash is misplaced.
“The Son of Sam law doesn’t apply, because these are not Mr. Herskovic’s funds, nor is he seeking to profit from the incident for which he was convicted,” Stuart Slotnick said.