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Jewish patrol members plead innocent in assault

Two former members of an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood watch group have pleaded innocent to attacking a black teenager.

Brothers Avi and Eliyahu Werdesheim entered the pleas Wednesday morning while supporters and protesters rallied outside the Baltimore courthouse. The teen told police that 23-year-old Eliyahu Werdesheim struck him in the head with a radio and shouted, “You don’t belong around here get out of here!”

Eliyahu Werdesheim and 20-year-old Avi Werdesheim are charged with false imprisonment, assault and weapons charges in the Nov. 19 incident. Both are scheduled for trial May 2.

The city’s newly-elected prosecutor, Gregg Bernstein, dropped a felony charge against Eliyahu Werdesheim, prompting criticism he was being soft on Jewish hate crime because he is Jewish.