After beating the main charge of shooting four Shomrim members on a Boro Park street four years ago, David Flores was sentenced Friday by a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge to 12 years in prison on the related gun possession charge, three years less than the maximum.
Judge Dineen Riviezzo said she did not believe Flores’s assertions that the September 2010 incident was the first time he had carried a weapon, which he said he “found” in an apartment he was renting. Citing a long rap sheet that stretches back to 1991 and includes nine previous arrests, she said that she found that “less than credible.”
Flores, 37, did not go down without a fight.
“I’ve been railroaded,” he yelled out before he was led out of the courtroom in cuffs, the Daily News reported. “There’s no justice in this court.”
However, a city councilman and the half-dozen Shomrim members present in the room when the sentence was announced hailed it as partial justice.
“This sentence sends a clear message that we will not tolerate criminals carrying illegal weapons on our streets,” Councilman David Greenfield said in a statement.
“This is someone who put many lives in danger, including the four volunteers he shot and the many bystanders in the area at the time,” said the Brooklyn Democrat, who had just taken office representing the district when the shooting occurred.
Motty Pearl, one of the four Shomrim members who had been shot at, told Hamodia that the sentencing conjured mixed emotions in him.
“It’s good that he got 12 years,” said Mr. Pearl, who still has two scars from the incident, “but I’m unhappy that he was acquitted on all the other charges, the attempted murder charges.”
Greenfield, other elected and Shomrim officials had previously expressed disappointment in the verdict, but said they were basically satisfied with the relatively strict sentence.
“Twelve is not enough,” said Yanky Daskal, a top Shomrim official, “but the jury spoke then and now the judge spoke.”
Flores was identified by Shomrim on Sept. 4, 2010, as acting inappropriately in front of children as he sat in a car on 46th Street near 10th Ave. The neighborhood volunteer patrol, who were already on the lookout for a Hispanic male matching Flores’s description for a similar offense a week before, immediately called police and sent four members to the scene.
Flores apparently got scared and suddenly took out his gun and fired at them. Avrohom Kaztow, then 54, Motty Pearl, 28, Motty Brauner, 28, and Yoily Klein, 27, were injured. All have since made a complete recovery.
It was a challenging week for the Shomrim. Less than a week earlier, two of their members had come under fire in an unrelated bank robbery incident on 13th Ave. for the first time in their 20-year existence.
Flores, a Harrisburg, Penn., resident, was acquitted two months ago of 15 out of the 16 charges after claiming that he was attacked by an angry mob who pounded on his car door. He said that he shot the unarmed Shomrim members in self defense.
However, the jury found him guilty of carrying an illegal weapon, which carried a minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years and a maximum of 15 years behind bars.
Saying that his long arrest sheet belied claims that he was an innocent person who happened upon a gun, Riviezzo chose to give Flores near the upper limit.
He was also sentenced for up to three years for an apartment rental scam during a stint as a building super. That term will run adjacent to the 12 years for the gun charge.
Due to time served, as well as credit for potentially good behavior, Flores may be released in about 6 1/2 years. He then faces a Pennsylvania judge for violating his parole on multiple weapons and burglary charges, for which he can be sentenced for additional prison time.