An Israeli diplomat’s 19-year-old son cannot claim diplomatic immunity to escape charges for allegedly intentionally running into a Florida police officer with his motorcycle.
Avraham Gil, 19, the son of Israeli Consulate Consul for Administration Eli Gil in Miami, was arrested in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida.
He was released after his attorney claimed diplomatic immunity due to his father being a diplomat.
However, the U.S. Department of State said the teenager is ineligible to receive the immunities.
🚨BREAKING: reported by ABC TV channel, the son of an Israeli diplomat, who intentionally ran over a Miami cop, is anticipated to be released due to the diplomatic immunity granted by his father’s position. pic.twitter.com/RN2xIckJkC
“The Department is aware of this incident. We can confirm that, as the dependent of an Israeli consular officer, the concerned individual is not entitled to civil or criminal immunity,” the State Department said in a statement obtained by NBC Miami.
An arrest report states that as the officer approached the vehicle he pulled over, Gil came up on his motorcycle, weaving in between vehicles. The officer motioned at Gil and yelled at him to stop, police said, but instead, he kept riding towards the lieutenant and “intentionally ran him over.”
The officer, who suffered an “incapacitating” injury to his left leg, grabbed Gil and brought him to the ground to stop him, the report states. Police arrested Gil on a first-degree felony charge of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence.
The officer remains out of work.
A Dec. 31 video shows Gil also being pulled over by Miami Shores police.
Gil faces a first-degree felony charge of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence.
“Defense counsel’s representation was relied upon and the defendant was released on his own recognizance,” a spokesperson for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said in a statement Thursday. “After receiving confirmation from the State Department, Office of Foreign Missions, that neither the defendant nor his father have diplomatic immunity, we are proceeding as usual with our investigation. Mr. Gil remains charged and the case is still open.”
The teenager’s attorneys have maintained his innocence.
Attorney David Seltzer released a statement to Local 10 News:
“It is critical for a law enforcement officer to identify quickly and accurately the status of any person identifying themselves as part of a diplomatic attachment, which Mr. Gil did several times per procedure. Numerous documents are associated with foreign diplomats which make it difficult without verification to discern a diplomat’s status. In the instant matter, Sunny Isle Police Department (“SIPD”) failed to follow protocols and procedures in place to identify if Mr. Gil, in fact, had immunity. At the time of the initial bond hearing, it was reported that he had immunity,” the statement read.
“Per the Department of State guidelines, “…federal registration documents and driver’s licenses do not definitively reflect the degree of privileges and immunities of the bearer. They should be relied upon only as an indication that the bearer may enjoy some degree of immunity…” Thus, based on SIPD’s failure to follow approved and accepted procedures in place, there was no clarity on his status. As can be seen from the video moments before the incident, Mr. Gil was simply driving and had no intention to hit the police officer, and there is no evidence to the contrary. When all the facts come to light, we are confident Mr. Gil will be exonerated,” it added.