U.S. Latest News

Man uses Florida Stand Your Ground self-defense law against a 5-year-old who was armed with tennis racket

By Emily Lewis 11:01 AM December 6, 2017
Osmailer Torres

A man who was seen on video hitting a child is trying to use the Florida Stand Your Ground self-defense law, saying that the child was the “aggressor.”

Tennis instructor 30-year-old Osmailer Torres of Miami, is accused of child abuse for hitting a 5-year-old boy who he claimed was “armed” with a tennis racket.

Torres was arrested after Miami police saw the video of him hitting the boy with a child size tennis racket, leaving the victim with bruises on his eyebrow and right arm.

Surveillance video captured the incident on the playground at the First Presbyterian Church on Brickell Avenue.

Attorney Eduardo Pereira said that the soft-spoken and professional Sunday school teacher has never been in trouble with the law before.

He said that his client hit the child accidentally when he tried to get him out of harm’s way.

In a motion asking a judge for “immunity,” the defense attorney said the child was the “initial aggressor” and had participated in “several violent altercations” against other students.

The attorney added that the incident was seen as an accident by the child and the school staff.

Prosecutors are fighting the claim, saying the video does not show the 5-year-old approaching any of the other children aggressively and the boy did not believe it was an accident.

“It is the state’s position that Torres was not acting under the threat of imminent threat of danger to himself or others,” Assistant State Attorney Gabriela Plasencia wrote in response to the motion.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Oscar Rodriguez-Fonts will consider the “immunity” claim in the coming months.