An NYPD probe into the vicious assault of a gay black man in Brooklyn allegedly by members of a Jewish security patrol Shomrim was almost buried because cops prematurely closed the case.
Taj Patterson, 25, was walking down Flushing Ave. in Williamsburg in December 2013 when he was set upon by a gang of men shouting anti-gay slurs, prosecutors said.
Patterson suffered savage injuries a broken eye socket and a torn retina that has left him permanently blind in one eye.
Investigators knew the license plate number of one of the assailants and even had four witness statements, according to records.
But within 24 hours, cops in the 90th Precinct classified the attack as a misdemeanor and inexplicably marked the complaint “final, no arrests, CLOSED,” records show.
It was only after the dogged efforts of the victim’s mother that the case was reopened and five men subsequently arrested.
The new details about the investigation emerged as the NYPD is facing a federal corruption probe focused in part on a member of the Borough Park Shomrim, the Jewish volunteer patrol, accused of bribing cops with cash and other gifts.
“The Patterson case demonstrates a disturbing disparity in access to justice between Taj Patterson’s community and the Orthodox community, which flows directly from the NYPD’s high-ranking collusion with the vigilante Shomrim patrols,” said Patterson’s lawyer, Andrew Stoll.
Patterson told The News he was shocked that cops initially closed the investigation.
“I think they saw this black kid and they might have seen the Jewish guys and thought he must have done something wrong because the Jewish guys wouldn’t do anything wrong,” Patterson said.
The NYPD didn’t answer specific questions posed by The News. Instead, a police spokesman issued a general statement.
“The hate crime task force investigated this incident and effected several arrests during the course of the investigation,” the statement read.
The five suspects: Abraham Winkler, 39; Aharon Hollender, 28; Mayer Herskovic, 21; Joseph Fried, 25, and Pinchas Braver, 19 were indicted in April 2014 on felony gang assault charges after a probe by the Brooklyn DA office.
Charges have been dismissed against Fried and Hollender.
The others are expected to appear in court in 10 days.