NY Daily News

SHOCKING: Judge’s DWI Ruling Kept Hit-n-Run Driver Behind the Wheel

When Julio Acevedo was arraigned last month on a drunken driving bust, a Brooklyn judge not only refused to set bail, he declined to suspend the ex-con’s license — even after being told it was mandatory.

Court transcripts show Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Michael Gary fumbled on the law and released Acevedo, 44, after a Feb. 18 arraignment. With an active driver’s license and no bail, the felon was free to speed a borrowed BMW into a livery car, killing a young Hasidic couple in Williamsburg about two weeks later.

Nachman and Raizel Glauber’s son, delivered by C-section after the March 3 wreck and weighing less than 3 pounds, died the next day.

Gary, a judge for 26 years, had said that if he was wrong about the mandatory license suspension in February, a judge could correct him during the next court date on April 10.

Records show the prosecutor, Ashley Ford, tried to keep Acevedo behind bars after the DWI arrest. And she wanted his driver’s license suspended.

“The defendant has a bench warrant history and is not recommended for release,” said Ford, requesting $5,000 bail and noting that Acevedo was apprehended chasing a cabbie who had cut him off.

Gary released the lowlife without bail and ordered him to attend an alcohol screening. Ford then pointed out that state law required the judge to suspend his license.

“I believe the statute requires that the license be suspended,” she said, according to the arraignment transcript. “I’m not quite sure it’s discretionary.”

But the judge disagreed, telling Acevedo he could have his license back despite registering a 0.13 blood-alcohol level in a breath test.

“I don’t believe that I must do it …,” Gary said. “If I’m wrong, the judge can correct me on April 10 (Acevedo’s next court date), but I think I’m correct.”

Gary was handling arraignment court during the February hearing, part of a rotation in which Supreme Court justices each fill in five days a year. He declined to comment Tuesday.

Courts spokesman David Bookstaver said, “Judge Gary acknowledged that the law in fact required him to take the defendant’s license at the time of the arraignment.”

Defense attorney Todd Greenberg, who specializes in vehicular crimes, said the statute requires a license suspension if a driver blows the legal alcohol limit of 0.08.

Acevedo is expected to be indicted Wednesday for leaving the scene of a fatal accident and criminally negligent homicide.

“If he goes behind the wheel drunk, he could have gone behind the wheel without a license,” Isaac Abraham, a leader in the Hasidic community, said Tuesday when told of the judge’s mistake.

A former prosecutor, Gary was appointed to the bench in 1987 and promoted to the Supreme Court in 1994. He primarily presides over felony cases.

“I’ll have to say it’s because he’s not regularly there,” Greenberg opined when asked what could have caused the error. “Most criminal court judges who deal with these cases on a regular basis are aware of this provision and automatically suspend the license.”

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes declined to address the license issue, calling Gary a “fine judge.”

Reached at his Williamsburg apartment, Raizel Glauber’s grieving father, Yitzchak Silberstein, told The News, “It will not bring them back, my children, and that’s all.”

Related Articles:

Tragedy: Couple Killed in Horrific Crash en Route to Hospital
Hope Turnes to Deeper Mourning as Baby Dies
Police ID Driver of Speeding BMW
Crash Victims Emotional Wedding Day Letter to his Parents
The Best and Worst of Brooklyn Collided


  • Williamsburg resident Osher

    Judge Gary should be barred from practice immediately and put in front of an arbitrary court of law to investigate FULLY how he could have let a known dangerous drinking driver and criminal to continue driving like there’s no tomorrow!!! I call on all good citizens of this city to voice their utter disgust at such a lenient brainworks of this judge. Has he no shame? He must pay the heavy price of being barred, fined, and sent to prison for the direct cause of turning a blind eye to a dangerous man — and in turn causing an eternal anguish to the suffering Chassidish family. I will personally do what I can to remedy this terrible terrible thing.

  • what the H***

    can they sue the judge for malpractice? can you get that judge prosecuted for illegal procedures?

    • Milhouse

      Because we don’t live in your fantasy world where you make up the rules as you go along.

      1. Judges have absolute immunity.
      2. Even if they didn’t, they don’t have clients, so what could “malpractice” mean? Who could have standing to sue for it?
      3. What would you prosecute him for? What criminal charge would you lay against him, and in what statute would you find that charge?

  • To above

    You guys are hilarious. If the hit and run did not involve a frum couple you wouldn’t be questioning the judge and be asking for his removal. Frum people are not activist in any sense of the word and all of the sudden you are a bunce of concerned citizens. Your double standards is sickening.

    • Tough Justice

      And you know all this how, exactly? You are so sure you are right, yet you don’t know the first thing about any of us. Speaking ONLY for myself, I assure you I am an “activist”, although not knowing you at all, I’m not sure how you define the word.

      Do you get it yet???

    • Milhouse

      What’s your problem with us caring about our own? That’s what people are supposed to do.


      Whilst it’s true it hurts a heck of a lot more when it’s ‘your own kin’ involved, but any human normal person would be up in arms over such a tragedy if for no other reason than it could always happen to them if these kinds of low lifes are allowed to roam free. and this judge will get his day, and most likely by a drunken speeding bum. I would just love for him to painfully survive just for a little bit,.

  • cma

    Curious to know if the state can be sued for this miscarriage of justice.

    To all the commenters above, especially #6, take it easy.

  • Anonymous

    to number 6. you want them to become activists for someone they don’t even know? I don’t get you…

  • chanchi

    Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes declined to address the license issue, calling Gary a “fine judge.”

    but he is a big ohev yisrael and we should really vote for him again

  • to #6

    Most people are not activists but when something happens to family they try to figure out why.
    Lubavitcher Jews view each other as family.
    If that embarrasses you too bad.

  • So what

    I don’t understand the anger here… Who said Acevedo wouldn’t drive if his license was suspended?

  • Anonymous

    The judge made a mistake! Nothing more… I’m sure hes upset about it but hes human and made a mistake… his 26 years on the bemtch should no5 be marred by this.

  • Human

    The judge made a mistake! Calm down I’m sure he’s being himself up about it…

  • chill out

    “If he goes behind the wheel drunk, he could have gone behind the wheel without a license,” Isaac Abraham, a leader in the Hasidic community, said Tuesday when told of the judge’s mistake.

    So how much culpability DOES this judge have?

    • Milhouse

      Moral culpability? Maybe he has some, maybe not. We can’t know what Acevedo would have done had his license been suspended. Maybe he wouldn’t have driven. (Though since we believe in hashgocho protis, all this would mean is that someone else would have hit them instead.)

      Legal culpability? He has none.

  • declasse' intellectual

    Get real folks. First, you should not be surprised because this is the consistent track record of the Mayor Bloomberg philosphy of judicial justice where the liberal minded thinking has the criminal gettting more rights and privilidges then the victim.
    Second, the biggest disgrace in our nations judicial system is the laws involving drunk drivers where many of the DWI law violaters are given only a slap on the wrist and ask if they were hurt–this includes repeat offenders and those who have killed. I travel around alot–Have Masgiach Will Travel–and find this throughout the country. I.e., In Massachusetts what occurred with this judge could occur there and
    it seems that the offender is given all the leway and hardly gets appropriate punishment. See the NEWTONTAB.COM and look up Evan Hoffman who killed a person but yet basically got community service with reduced hours. Or in the Southwest where DWI drivers are more then given the benefit of a doubt. If it is in the Indian tribal lands, the law is a joke.
    So until judges and the administtration dump this liberal philosophy that criminals have more rights and extreme measures need to be taken in due process to protect them and laws are readjusted to be appropriate, expect the worse. Then too, I have not gotten into the horros of domestic abuse stories that i have seen during my travels.

  • Just Sayin'

    To paraphrase Mr. Abraham, given his rap sheet and the drunk driving charge itself, it’s obvious that this guy has no respect for the law, so taking away his license wouldn’t have stopped this tragedy.

    And to quote Mr. Silberstein, “It won’t bring them back.” So stop with all the righteous indignation. It doesn’t help anyone or anything. You want to be productive? Do something good in their memory. How about raising money for his orphaned friend’s wedding, like Nachman was doing before he passed?

  • larry

    to#8 not realy true when i read in the news a store like this it bothers me but when its my brother i WILL open my mouth

  • to #6

    wow! so surprising! when something like this happens to our own brothers and sisters, of course we will act like this! its like a part of yourself is being torn apart! wheres your sensitivity?! dont drag others into this situation, we feel for each other, we are all one big family! what YOU said is sickening!
    Hashem Y’shmor!

  • to no. 6

    double standards?!?!
    are you telling me that when a member of your family is hurt, it affects you in the same way as a stranger???
    whats obvious here is that you are not close enough to your family to feel the pain. obviously everyone voices concern when they are personally affected- thats how the world runs- youd be a fool to deny that.

  • To #6

    You are a complete ignoramus. There are injustices happening all over the world. Do you travel everywhere and fix them? No! You stay here and eat popcorn and rot on your couch like the rest of us. If the police wrongfully arrested your mother then ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU WOULD CARE! That’s the way a community works. Idiot! We take care of our people. Stop hating on a good forum community.

  • what the H***

    to 6 you couldn’t be more wrong. we, of course, are more vocal, because its one of our own. However. that does not mean my opinion would be any different in the same situation, for whomever, suffered from this judges total incompetence or a similar situation. and for you to suggest that we are “hilarious” makes me question who you are (on so many different levels). Your indifference, and comment are shocking to me. You really a piece of work aren’t you?

  • suggestion

    If the judge really feels bad about what was a genuine mistake (and yes, it happens to everyone!) than the community should push for him to help with the effort to get Rubashkin out. It wont bring back the young couple or their baby, but it would bring some measure of comfort to “the Jewish family”.

  • john Lavida

    Will mr Acevedo be held to the highest standards of the law and serve a 3 month sentence like Officer Patrick Kelly of he NYPD did , when he drove drunk killed the Revernalds daughter on Ave N Brooklyn NY?