Tensions Rise After Teen Beat By Volunteer

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There are calls for a Jewish neighborhood patrol to be disbanded after a black teenager was allegedly beaten by a volunteer.  Two minority groups in Baltimore are trying to avoid racial divisions. 

Andrea Fujii has more.

To alleviate any racial unrest, leaders from black and Jewish communities are planning to meet next week and discuss how to ease tensions.

A 15-year-old African American boy says he has a broken wrist and cuts, thanks to a volunteer Jewish community patrolman.  He says he was walking on Fallstaff Road when a member of Shomrim stopped him.

“We have a case that we’re investigating now where it involves an individual that may have taken the law into their own hands,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City police.

The teen says the driver, 23-year-old Eliyahu Werdesheim, asked him if he “wanted some problems.”  Then, according to reports, the boy picked up a stick, two men got out of the van, threw him to the ground, held him down and hit him in the head with a walkie talkie.

“This person was on back porches, looking in houses,” said Werdesheim’s attorney, Andrew Alperstein.

Alperstein says his client, a former Israeli special forces soldier, thought the teen was responsible for recent crimes in the neighborhood and that it was Werdesheim who acted in self-defense.

Friday morning, former Baltimore NAACP President Doc Cheatham is among the leaders calling for Shomrim to be suspended while a police investigation continues.

A member of Shomrim, which means “watchers” in Hebrew, says the group is still active but Werdesheim has been suspended.

Werdesheim is charged with first degree assault, reckless endangerment and false imprisonment.  He’s free on $50,000 bond.

  • http://localxoo.com/maryland/2010/12/03/tensions-rise-after-teen-hit-by-volunteer/ Tensions Rise After Teen Hit By Volunteer — Maryland

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  • RHERB1523


    • Rus

      Why would this be an issue? There is a strong US-Israeli alliance. Many Israelis become US citizens.

      Come to think of it, many people from countries all over the world, allied and not, become US citizens. That would include my ancestors and, most likely, your ancestors as well.

      Not trying to justify this guy’s actions, because there is WAY too little information for anyone to judge either individual’s actions.

  • Gracey

    No surprise there about another protest. Neighborhood watch is very important. The thief had no business in someone else’s personal property peeking in to see what he could steel. The volunteer watch YOUNG man did the right thing by trying to stop and catch him. I believe he tried to defend himself, and the thief got vicious. What difference does color or religion make in this case. We should all watch out for our neighbors.

    • Greg

      He was walking on the street. Neighborhood WATCH is very important. Neighborhood HANDS are not permitted. Bottom line. Citizens have no right to be called somewhere and instigate fights with people.

      The bottom line is that Mr. Werdesheim is the unfortunate victim of Shomrim’s heavy handed and unwarranted vigilantism and racism. He may have struck the kid, but it was permitted by the leaders of the group. This may be the first incident that hit the news, but its one of hundreds.

    • tylerjake

      Exactly right Gracey. If city and church “leaders” had their way everyone in this neighborhood ,will now have to give 50% of their property to the city and the other low life thugs that are robbing and pillaging the city.

      • Jason

        Meanwhile, racist jew beats innocent teenager. Convict him for assault.

    • Jason

      You have no proof he stole anything. Looks to me like he was defending himself. If someone drove up next to you walking down the street and said”You looknig for trouble?” I would certainly grab somethign to defend myself.

      • UncleSyd

        The city has a curfew and this 15 year old boy should not be on the streets at 12:45 am. He was breaking the law simply by being out. Period.

  • Richard

    Community Watch organizations play a major role in crime reduction. If they are stopped then crime will increase in the area. Regardless of that, the suspect produced a stick as a weapon and was dealt with accordingly.

  • Free2speak2

    That young man was not caught doing any crime. He was attacked due ti his color. You people are still living in the past. Your security is probably here illegal anyway. Stop hating. What goes around will come around. There are alot of community patrols that is not color hating. SHAME ON ALL OF YOU NEGATIVE THINKING PEOPLE.

    • tylerjake

      grow up and GET A LIFE Free2speak2. He was thug looking to rob and steal we know the drill now and your “tactics” don’t work anymore! Example: Baltimore = WASTELAND or the movie “Escape from New York”.

      • Jason

        You have no proof of this. You are just a racist. Why else would you come to this conclusion with ZERO PROOF.

      • Jason

        Yeah, obviously you watch too many movies….idiot

    • UncleSyd

      Negative thinking people huh? Did you read the paper about another “brother” who was shot to death on Tuesday night? He was also 15 years old. That is the “negative” consequences of a thug life.

  • tylerjake

    Why aren’t these “church leaders” and others worried about the daily violence in the city?! The city is to the point where people can’t even go and spend money anymore because they will be attacked and robbed! SO this neighborhood that has a watch should be disbanded?! SAYS WHO?! Ahh, yes the “church leaders”. I love how this THUG has been portrayed by the media once again as such a victim. Bottom line is this guy was there looking to start trouble. He was all big and bad until he got caught and now he’s a victim.

    • Jason


      • UncleSyd

        And black on black crime isn’t racists? Hundreds dead every year and where is the out cry? Sad that you only see the mothers when the child is DEAD.

  • bill

    how about the tensions rise a little bit when all the young BLACK kids are shooting each other on our city streets….where’s that outrage from the so called black leaders ?

    • Jason

      No one cares because they are criminals. You have ZERO porrf this teenager was doing anythign illegal. Are you that dumb to not see the difference? Or do you just see black boy? Another racist it seems…the only ones who post here constantly about Baltimore black population…but too cowardly to come to the city and change anything. Live in your bubble and make mistakes like this idiot did. Convict him of assault.

      • Larry

        Black has nothing to do with it. If a white boy was cutting through people’s yards looking through windows, he would have been confronted as well.
        The juvenile’s prior convictions of THEFT are a pretty good indicator of what was going on here. Color isn’t the issue unless you make it the issue.

      • mar

        I am really sick of everything that happens in baltimore is done by a racist. Grow up the crime rate in baltimore city is bad enough and look real careful because 9 of 10 are black on black. Give me a break

      • UncleSyd

        Ok, all the young black men getting killed in this city are innocent church going choir boys. All the white/Asian/Jewish/Arab/Indian folk are stupid and racist? Yep, keep on believing until it comes true.

  • John

    The Israeli special forces soldier was just doing what he was trained to do and probably thought he was back attacking innocent and unarmed Palestinians, although their victims are often children younger than 15. Why is he even here? No allegiance whatsoever to the Red, White, and Blue other than taking our aid $ and running to the US for help.

    • Nate

      That’s a clever way to use your views on international politics to condemn an individual whose actions are entirely unrelated.
      Also, Werdesheim is an American and fought for an allied country, but I’m sure your conjectures about his patriotism are justified because you know everything about him…right?

  • waheid

    Werdesheim clearly wasn’t fighting in self-defense. He or his colleague had a portable radio. If they thought there was a person acting suspiciously, they should have used their radio to contact their HQ or to call the police. Instead, they got out of their vehicle and attacked the African-American boy. That may be okay in Israel, but not in the United States. The danger with these watch groups is that they can evolve into vigilantes, meeting out their own version of justice. It’s clear that at least some people in Baltimore have as much to fear from the watch groups as they do for the criminals.

    • George

      So because someone has a radio, they can’t be attacked?

  • http://teennewspaper.com/latest-teen-problems-news-2 Latest Teen Problems News | Teen Newspaper

    […] Tensions Rise After Teen Hit By Volunteer There are calls for a Jewish neighborhood patrol to be disbanded after a black teenager was allegedly beaten by a volunteer. Two minority groups in Baltimore are trying to avoid racial divisions. Read more on CBS 13 Baltimore […]

  • ken

    I think after a little more investigation the police will be letting this go and dropping all charges ,just watch and see…..

  • Bob

    I think they should make public if this young fellow has a RAP sheet. If so then where did he live in reference to where he was walking.

  • Pete

    He does, but they can’t release it because he is a juvenile. He was recently convicted of THEFT. How convenient.

    • dragonfly

      I am totally shocked that he was recently convicted of a theft, wow that is just amazing,,,,I am waiting for his prom picture to be posted all over the news and his Grandmom or aunt saying what a good kid he is—give me a break please!!

    • mar

      Oh no imagine that he already has a record.

  • Bob

    Then chances are this guy was up to no good and charges should be dropped I hope.

  • lawabidingcitizen

    Wow Pete, you must work for juvenile services in order to know if this young man has a record or not. If so, you have criminal tendencies yourself for sharing information that the law clearly states should not be available to the public.

    • sue

      Why should a juvenile record not be released. I am also feed up with listening to what a great person and they have rap sheets 2 miles long. Get real.

  • Pete

    This information comes from an unnamed police department official quoted in several articles by multiple news agencies. If you have a problem with this information being released, take it up with BCPD internal affairs or WBAL, WJZ, The Sun, etc.

  • Free2speak2

    Those huge cameras in the Jewish community can catch a mouse stealing. That child did not do anything illegal. Everyone is welcome in that community. He should not have approached him or put his hands on him. Step up to a real man. He was dead wrong.

  • Jaki

    You know what cracks me up? All you do is cry wolf..saying everyone is racist. No one would have to be racist if “certain groups of people” would stop living up to racist profile. Blacks can call everyone else racist without realizing that they are the reason we do so. Stop hiding behind your past, wake up get an education, a job and stop blaming everyone else for your problems. It’s no one else’s fault but your own that you continuously prove racist thinkers right. Stop murdering, raping, stealing and going to jail, then maybe people will stop thinking black are bad. About 90% of the prison population is black or hispanic….I wonder why?

  • cepy88thon

    This seems to be one incident that is serving as a flashpoint. And that is the sad thing. We have sanctioned the use of inconsistent and selective moral outrage.

    WZY.com reports “Friday morning, former Baltimore NAACP President Doc Cheatham is among the leaders calling for Shomrim to be suspended while a police investigation continues.” It seems that this is a generalization from the actions of one person, causing the entire group to be suspect.

    Why doesn’t this same reasoning apply to the terrorists of 9/11 infamies? Since they all belong to the same religion, does that mean we must now completely question that religion and rant and rave against them?

    Why doesn’t this same reasoning apply to the no insurance carrying, Spanish-speaking (“I don’t speak English) person who rear-end and totaled my car?

    Why doesn’t this same reasoning apply to the person who gunned down the last 15-year old Baltimorean?

    Why doesn’t this same reasoning apply to the boy who stole the bike right out of the hands of another boy?

    Where is the outrage that a 15-year-old boy decides that it is ok not to go to school?

    Where is the outrage when teenagers, in anonymity, key cars stopped at the light near the high school and then run into the school?

    There are incidents that one side can use and it doesn’t make much difference which side it is. Everyone is a victim and no one takes responsibility.

    I am so tired of the selective use of moral outrage.

    We really need to identify what we really are made at and then do something about it.

  • David

    It’s a sad commentary on Baltimore that simply because a black man chose to case houses in a Jewish neighborhood that he receives a coupon to commit crimes against Jews simply so the police won’t be seen as racist. Reference the state police hoopla of a year ago. This is sickening.Go on a vacation, visit another state, visit another country, get some perspective.Trying to rob someones house is generally a crime.

  • LaLa


    So, since when is a 15-year-old child a “man”? You’re a sick racist..proven right there. And for the record, sounds to me like he was just WALKING through the neighborhood when he was attacked by these OTHER white racists!!

    • Martelvonc

      But the report says the teen was on back porches of homes and looking in windows. That’s not exactly “just walking down the street”.

      That said, no community patrol has the right to beat suspects, only to report crimes they see to and let police handle them.

  • Ready for Beautiful

    I always find it interesting that more attention is given when others violate us than when we violate ourselves. Rarely do I find anyone ascending a soapbox to say, “Enough Black on Black injustice!”

  • David

    @ LaLa

    There are many cases in which, legally, a 15 year old is a man, regardless of race. I disagree with being grouped with “white racist” You know nothing about me. You disagree with me, and thats fine, but you dont need to personally attack me. The point I was trying to make is simply that because of the reaction this story has garnered, it will make it impossible for any real justice to come about. If the white person comitted a crime, he should be punished, if the black man comitted a crime, he should be punished. This controversy, and the public opinion which follows, will only serve to make any investigation impartial and any trial fair impossible for both! I think that if the person was just walking down the street, the jewish man should be charged with a crime, and if the story he has given is true he should not be with a crime. I do not presume to know the truth.

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