A tennis instructor in Miami, Florida, charged with child abuse after hitting a 5-year-old boy with a tennis racket wants charges against him dismissed under Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
Osmailer Torres, 30, was arrested in July 2016 and charged with third-degree child abuse after police say he took away the boy’s pint-size racket and hit him with it while at a playground at a Miami church. Surveillance video obtained by the Miami Herald shows Torres striking the child leaving him with a bruise on his right arm and a lump on his eyebrow.
Torres’ defense attorney, Eduardo Pereira, claimed the child was the “initial aggressor” in a motion asking the judge for Torres’ “immunity.”
According to the motion, Torres tried to separate the boy, who he claims had been involved in various violent altercations, from the class, but the 5-year-old lifted his mini racket “in the air and was poised to strike again against the other students and Mr. Torres.”
Pereira said his client didn’t even realize he hit the boy with the racket.
“This was always viewed as an accident by the child and the school staff but is being treated as something more for reasons unknown,” he told the Miami Herald.
Pereira described Torres as a “soft-spoken and professional” Sunday school teacher who has never before been in trouble with the law.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, are fighting the claim saying the at no point in the surveillance video does “the 5-year-old child approach any of the other children in an aggressive manner.”
A judge will consider Torres’ claim at a hearing early next year.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law has been a hot topic since George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder in the fatal 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin.
(Source: The Miami Herald)