Williamsburg Mans Criminal Conviction Overturned

A Williamsburg man who was convicted of gang assault and related charges for his role in the brutal beating of Taj Patterson has his conviction overturned and indictment thrown out.

Mayer Herskovic of Williamsburg was convicted in 2016 of second-degree gang assault and related charges and faced 3 1/2 to 15 years in prison. The conviction was in connection to a  December 1, 2013 incident, at about 4:40 a.m., when Taj Patterson was walking on Flushing Avenue in Williamsburg and a man, later joined by other men, started to chase him. The victim ran, but the group, eventually comprising 15 to 20 men, caught up to him near the corner of Flushing Avenue and Spencer Street.

The victim was then punched, kicked, stomped and had his eye poked by members of the group, according to testimony. He suffered facial fractures, retinal damage and lost eyesight in his right eye.

Mayer Herskovic was convicted based on the victims testimony, and DNA found on a sneaker reportedly thrown on a roof nearby.

Yet the Appellate Division, Second Department ruled that Patterson’s testimony was at times contradictory, and did not lead it to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Herskovic was the one responsible. The Appellate Court also cited Patterson’s “inability to positively identify any of his attackers, the varying accounts regarding the incident, and the DNA evidence, which was less than convincing,” as their reason for overturning the conviction and the indictment.

“We respect the court’s decision,” said a spokesman with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office.

In order to retry the case, the DA’s office would have to secure a fresh indictment. The office did not immediately indicate whether or not it intended to convene another grand jury.

13 Comments

    • 3. Milhouse wrote:

      What makes you think he assaulted anyone? He was arrested at random; they could easily have arrested and charged you or any of us, and what would you say then?

  • 4. Innocent wrote:

    The assault was reprehensible, but this man was innocent. The victim never identified him as an attacker. The DNA “evidence”, taken from the victim’s sneaker that was pulled off by an attacker, was totally unreliable and not evidence of any involvement of this man in the crime. All it suggested was that someone from the genetically insular Williamsburg Jewish Community was likely involved, but not specifically the man who was wrongfully convicted. But more importantly, the victim testified that it was someone else who pulled his sneaker off, not the man who was wrongfully convicted. The Appellate Court essentially said that there was so little evidence of this man’s involvement in the attack that this man never should have been put on trial in the first place. He was an innocent scapegoat. B”H an innocent man will not go to jail.

    Reply
    • 8. Still Innocent wrote:

      But if he can’t identify you, that’s no reason to put an innocent man behind bars.

    • 10. M wrote:

      Really intelligent you are.

      Just FTR he wasn’t completely blinded, he was blinded in one eye.

      Luckily a innocent man isn’t sitting in jail.

      Taj didn’t deserve that.

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