The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

July 15, 2013

NY rabbi accused of trying to pull over motorists

MAMARONECK, N.Y. —  Some drivers in the suburbs north of New York City were startled when they saw a man waving his arms, honking his horn and flashing a silver badge in a frantic effort to get them to pull over in traffic.

Even more surprising was who was suspected of doing it: a respected rabbi.

Rabbi Alfredo Borodowski has been arrested in one case and is being investigated in at least two more in which authorities say the apparent reason for trying to pull people over was to rage at them for cutting him off or driving too slowly.

"That girl was driving too slow and I hate when people do this," the 49-year-old Borodowski told investigators after he was charged with impersonating a police officer in June, when he allegedly pulled his Camry alongside a woman's car in Mamaroneck, flashed a badge and shouted: "Police! Police! Pull over!"

The woman, whose name has not been made public, did not pull over. According to her lawyer, Richard Clifford, the rabbi "just laid on the horn and started screaming at her" as she obeyed a 20-mph limit in a school zone. "She was so freaked out with the horn honking and the screaming that she called police immediately. ... I believe my client was in danger with this guy and if she had gotten out of her car it could have escalated."

Borodowski denied to police he was trying to impersonate an officer, saying he was telling the woman only that he would be "calling the police."

Police confiscated the badge, which read: "Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Officer 1338." Judie Glave, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the bridge and tunnel authority, said the badge is "totally fake."

Borodowski's lawyer, Andrew Rubin, acknowledged that the rabbi's behavior has been "manic" and said he's suffering from bipolar disorder. The lawyer said the rabbi will plead not guilty in court this week. A previous hearing was postponed because the rabbi was hospitalized.

The rabbi has been fired from a position at prestigious Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, one of the world's largest Jewish houses of worship. He also leads a congregation in Larchmont.

The odd saga of the rabbi has grabbed headlines in the car-centric suburbs and gained momentum after his arrest, when other drivers came forward saying he had tried to pull them over, too.

When Peter Moses' wife saw the story on the TV news, "She shouted, 'Oh my God, the guy who stopped us did it to someone else — and he's a rabbi!'" said Moses, a public relations consultant in White Plains.

Moses said that in May, a motorist tailgated him on a drive from Scarsdale to White Plains, "obviously trying to make me go faster" than the 40- mph limit. Instead, Moses slowed, and the driver passed him and then blocked his path.

"He's shouting, 'I'm a police officer, pull over!' and he's got this little badge that he's waving at us. I told my wife, 'That's not a police officer,'" Moses said.

"Then he's out of his car and he's screaming: 'I can arrest you! I can have you arrested!' I said, 'Fine, call the police,' then he storms back to his car and drives off."

Moses said his wife asked him not to report the incident but changed her mind when they learned of the arrest in Mamaroneck. "What we want is for the rabbi to get the emotional help he so obviously needs," he said.

Yet another driver handed State Police a video of a confrontation in late April on Interstate 87 near Yonkers. The man told authorities that he swerved in front of a driver who then flashed a badge and demanded that he pull over.

Police are not releasing the video, but a still image from it obtained by The Journal News shows a man who looks like Borodowski sticking his head out of his car window, his wispy graying hair blowing in the wind, who appears to be shouting and waving a silver badge in a leather case.

"He was holding up this tiny badge, and I knew the guy could no way be a cop in any sense of the word," the driver, whose name has not been made public, told the newspaper. When he challenged the man, he drove off.

The three complaints prompted the trustees of Temple Emanu-El to dismiss Borodowski as executive director of the Skirball Center for Jewish Learning "in the best interests of the congregation," said Mark Weisstuch, administrative vice president.

Borodowski was still listed as rabbi on the website for Congregation Sulam Yaakov in Larchmont. A call to the synagogue there was answered by a man who said: "No comment. That's his personal life."

 

1
Text Only
Nation & World
  • news_skoreaferry.jpg Fears rise for missing in South Korea ferry sinking

    Fears rose Thursday for the fate of 289 passengers still missing more than 24 hours after their ferry flipped onto its side and filled with water off the southern coast of South Korea.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_ukraineprotests.jpg Pro-Russian gunmen make inroads in eastern Ukraine

    The well-armed, Moscow-backed insurgency sowing chaos in eastern Ukraine scored a new victory Wednesday, seizing armored vehicles and weapons from underequipped government forces, then rolling through two cities to a hero’s welcome.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_detroitsunset.jpg Detroit still needs $350M from state lawmakers

    Pressure was building Wednesday for Michigan lawmakers to commit $350 million to Detroit pensions, a day after the city reached tentative agreements with pension funds and a retiree group to reduce payouts.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_malaysiaplanesearch.jpg Sub makes second dive to search for Malaysian plane

    As a robotic submarine dived into the ocean to look for lost Flight 370, angry Chinese relatives stormed out of a teleconference meeting Wednesday to protest the Malaysian government for not addressing them in person.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 APTOPIX Police Conver_Unde-1.jpg Feds: Boston bombing suspect not entitled to '11 murder file

    Federal prosecutors have told a judge they have no evidence that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev knew about his brother's alleged role in a triple slaying in Waltham two years before the bombings.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boston police safely blow up suspicious backpacks

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 16, 2014

  • 292 missing, 4 dead in South Korea ferry disaster

    A ferry carrying 459 people, mostly high school students on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast on Wednesday, leaving nearly 300 people missing despite a frantic, hours-long rescue by dozens of ships and helicopters. At least four people were confirmed dead and 55 injured.

    April 16, 2014

  • GM sales eyed for impact of ignition switch recall

    As General Motors shows off its newest cars and trucks in New York this week, analysts are watching for signs that consumers are shying away from the ones sitting on dealer lots.

    April 15, 2014

  • Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

    Survivors, first responders and family members of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over Boston's resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 15, 2014

  • First women move to Army platoon artillery jobs

     Under a canopy of trees on the edge of a large field, soldiers from Bravo Battery are lying in a circle as they pore over targeting charts. Nearby, others are preparing the howitzer cannons as helicopters swoop overhead. At the edge of the circle, the platoon leader watches as the field artillerymen go through their training exercise.

    April 15, 2014

More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium