A fully-grown man who snatched a tennis racket out of a five-year-old’s hand and used it to bonk the kid upside the head is now petitioning a judge to throw out the child abuse case against him, arguing that his actions were covered under Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law.
Tennis instructor Osmailer Torres, 30, was arrested in July 2016 after he was caught on surveillance footage using a child’s mini-racket to smack him, the Miami Herald reported. The blow left the kid suffering from a bruise on his right arm and a lump on his eyebrow, while Torres was hit with child abuse charges.
This week, however, Torres is pushing back against the charges by claiming that he was simply trying to save other kids from harm. His defense lawyer filed a motion painting the boy as the “initial aggressor” who was guilty of “various violent altercations” against the other little ones.
The surveillance video actually shows the tennis instructor taking swift action after the boy lifted the racket “in the air and was poised to strike against the other students and Mr. Torres,” the motion continues.
“This was always viewed as an accident by the child and the school staff but is being treated as something more for reasons unknown,” said defense lawyer Eduardo Pereira, who defended Torres as a “soft-spoken and professional” Sunday school teacher at Miami’s First Presbyterian Church who has no criminal record.
Prosecutors blasted the motion and insisted that “at no point did the 5-year-old child approach any of the other children in an aggressive manner” in the video.
“It is the state’s position that [Torres] was not acting under the imminent threat of danger to himself or others,” Assistant State Attorney Gabriela Plasencia wrote in response to Pereira’s filing.