Case Dismissed Against School Rabbi

June 10, 2009

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office today dropped charges against Rabbi Maccabee Avishur, The Emery/Weiner School’s Director of Judaics. Avishur was charged with interfering last week after an incident involving a student who was ticketed by Houston Police for making an illegal left turn.

 

According to attorney Geoffrey Berg, who represented Avishur pro-bono, the City of Houston recently changed a two-lane turn onto Stella Link near the school into a one-lane turn. Berg says Avishur was turning left, when he saw the student beside him preparing to also make a left turn from the now-illegal second lane. The student was pulled over, and Avishur also stopped.

 

Avishur allegedly approached the officer, introduced himself as the student’s teacher, and asked if everything was alright, also noting that the new turn lanes were confusing. The officer reported that Avishur was told repeatedly to back away, and refused to comply.

 

“He didn’t interfere, he didn’t stand in the way, he was just there to make sure the girl was ok,” said Berg.

 

Avishur was arrested by the officer, charged with interfering, and spent a day and evening in city jail before being released. The District Attorney’s Office accepted the charges, but they were dropped today.

 

“Credit should be given to the District Attorney for doing the right thing,” said Berg. “The entire incident was unfortunate, as there was never a crime committed.”

 

“I am delighted the case was dismissed,” said  Emery/Weiner’s Head of School Stuart Dow. “The system yielded the right result.  Rabbi Avishur is looking forward to moving on beyond this incident and spending time with his family this summer without having to worry about the case’s outcome.”

 

Bobby Lapin, the president of Emery/Weiner’s Board of Trustees, said the school is grateful for the role the Houston Police Department “plays in the safety and security of our community.”

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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