A Borough Park rabbi was held at gunpoint and treated like a common “criminal” by a Vermont state trooper who should be yanked from duty, the holy man’s distraught wife is demanding.
The family’s horror began Aug. 7 along I-91 north near Fairlee, Vermont, Rabbi Berl Fink’s wife, Sarah, told The Post.
Berl, who was driving, was ordered out of their 2004 Toyota Camry at gunpoint by Trooper Justin Thompson around 11:30 p.m., as their two teen kids looked on, she said.
Thompson then allegedly pushed Berl to the ground, handcuffed him and frisked him for weapons, while the rest of the kin including the couple’s 16-year-old daughter and 19-year-old son were also told to get out of the vehicle and handcuffed.
Sarah claimed four other cops “tackled” her son to the ground, “repeatedly” frisked them and searched their car.
“I tell you, there was brutality.
He was pointing guns.
I can’t tell you how traumatizing it was,” Sarah said.
The next day, cops told the family that they were pulled over for speeding and that the arresting trooper believed Berl was drunk because he was weaving between lanes, though a Breathalyzer was never administered.
The family claimed they were traveling between 55 and 60 mph in a 65-mph zone when they first passed the trooper, who was stopped along the side of the road with his lights on before pulling out to tail the Toyota.
“We were frustrated. We were helpless. There was nothing to do,” said Sarah. “When someone starts up with you, you call the police. But what if it is the police?”
Berl eventually was issued a summons for eluding a police officer after the trooper told him he had a more urgent call to respond to.
Now the family is threatening to sue the Vermont State Police for civil rights violations.
Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind said he was “appalled” over the incident and called on Vermont Gov. Phil Scott to investigate the Finks’ allegations.
“My constituents’ dress made it clear that they were Hasidic Jews, a sight that may be uncommon in Vermont but one that is hardly a crime,” said Hikind. “While it would be difficult to mistake the Fink family as people who might pose a danger to police officers, they were subjected to having guns pointed at them, being handcuffed, terrorized and humiliated.
This entire incident has left the Fink family traumatized and fearful of travel.”