Prosecutors Drop DWI Charge Against Motorist Who Killed Mo Berkowitz z”l

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mo-berkowitzThe NY Daily News reports: Prosecutors dropped a drunken-driving rap against a man accused of speeding through a red light and killing a beloved Brooklyn Yeshiva teacher, court papers show.

Brooklyn prosecutors said Thursday there was no evidence to charge Anel Kolenovic with DWI – even though cops had initially booked him on that charge.

Kolenovic, 23, was held on $200,000 bail following his arraignment Wednesday in the wreck killed Moshe Berkowitz.

He was arraigned on charges of assault, criminally negligent homicide, reckless driving, excessive speed and ignoring a traffic signal, court papers show.

Officials from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office said cops gave Kolenovic a Breathalyzer test about three hours after the deadly crash. His blood-alcohol level was 0.02, well below the legal limit of 0.08, the officials said.

Additional charges are possible, however, since prosecutors have yet to receive the results of a toxicology test done on a sample of blood taken from Kolenovic after the crash, the officials added.

Berkowitz, 25, was driving home from a night of bowling with friends Monday night when Kolenovic’s Volkswagen Passat slammed into his car on Ocean Ave. in Midwood, police said.

Berkowitz, who taught middle school English at Yeshiva Birchas Shmuel, was rushed by ambulance to a local hospital, but couldn’t be saved.

Kolenovic was driving about 45 mph when he blew through a red light at the intersection of Ocean Ave. and Ave. N, court papers show.

Kolenovic told cops that the light had not yet turned red and that he had trouble stopping because his car’s tires were bald, according to the court papers.

{NY Daily News/}


  1. Relax #1 justice will be served if he was drunk the toxicology report will indicate that he was. If he wasnt then well then there was no DUI. Either way the dayan emes will take care of it, I promise.

  2. Why was there a three hour delay on the breathalyzer test? That’s three hours for the alcohol to be scrubbed from his system!

    Anyway, he was driving about 45 mph when he blew through a red light. – How about criminal negligence – over speed limit, blowing a red light!

  3. The problem here is with the DA of Brooklyn, Joe Hynes! How quickly you fools forget! Gidione Bush, Yankel Rosenbaum, Rabbi Bernard Freiluch, etc… This man has shown contempt

  4. a breathalyzer test taken 3 hours later????
    it is well know the body can get rid of .02 of alcohol every hour. so therefore if it was taken 3 hours later that means at the time of the crash it was .08!!! lock him up!!!

  5. At Matzav’s initial reporting of Moshe Berkowitz’s tragic death at, regarding the wild drunk (Russian) drivers who crashed into Mr. Berkowitz’s car, Comment #6. from Joe stated:

    “Those Russian murderers should get the death penalty!”

    I reply to Joe: “I give you ‘triple dittos’!!”

  6. (continuation of above comment)

    For way too long, countless mean and callous drivers have terrorized our roads and highways. Acting as if THEY were the police, they pull up to right behind the car ahead of them, flash on their brights, force the car to get out of their way, and then race ahead at speeds far above the posted speed limits.

    On city streets, they cut drivers off as — totally against the rules of yielding — they turn suddenly in front of ongoing cars.

    Understandably, these and many other severely dangerous actions have led to numerous crashes.

    These are not my words. At, the second paragraph states:

    “The main causes for car accidents are reckless and negligent driving and alcohol. Teenagers, according to the statistics, cause most car accidents. (Their) Inexperience coupled with irresponsible behavior and a lack of respect for the safety precautions are the main causes for such a high number of teenage car accidents.”.

  7. (continuation of above comment)

    And these are numerous car accidents WITH NUMEROUS PEOPLE KILLED!!

    The numbers are outright staggering! According to, for most of the last decade and a half, each year, over fourty thousand people were killed by car crashes. Boruch HaShem, just recently, the statistics went down a little bit with “only” 37,423 in 2008 and 33,808 in 2009. Of course though, 37,423 and 33,808 are still 37,423 and 33,808 too many!!

    Furthermore, the third part of the web page notes that close to one third of 2008’s 37,423 fatalities, 11,773 to be exact, were in crashes by drunk drivers!

  8. Besides the many, many thousands of automobile collision deaths, there are each year nearly three million people who are “just injured” (see I put this phrase “just injured” in apostrophies because it is very deceptive; it can mean quite a wide range of things. “An injury” can be a small scratch that didn’t even bleed, or, it can be a shattered leg that needs to be amputated or a wide gash that cuts deep into the head. So “just injured” can be a guy who barely needed a band-aid, or it can be a person who was turned into a total invalid.

  9. Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Mikeitz
    Time: PM Pacific Standard Time

    (continuation of previous comments)

    The destruction of car accidents — and car accidents that come from outright mean reckless driving — comes close to almost everyone in every society. Our Bnei Torah communities have certainly felt a large share of this terrible problem.

    1.) Right now, is the intensive Aveilus for Moshe Yehuda Moskowitz, ZT’L.

    2.) About eight years ago, the father of one of the senior Avereichim of Beis Medrosh Gevoha — a Holocaust survivor who, throughout countless harrowing dangerous situations, was literally Moser Nefesh to strictly adhere to Torah U’Mitzvos — was brutally knocked over by a car that raced up onto the sidewalk corner where he was standing. He was immediately taken to the local hospital were they heavily worked on him, but a few days latter at the onset Rosh HaShanna, this Ish Kodesh joined the Yeshiva Shel Ma’ala.

    3.) In the early 1990’s, the (first) wife of one of the sons — himself a senior Avreich of B.M.G. — of one of the Gedolei HaPoskim of our Dor, was gravely slashed up when a car turned and cut off her and her driving husband. She had to be transported by a medical helicopter to a special trauma center in Philadelphia. The top specialists there heavily worked on her, but she was soon Nifteres

    4.) On the evening of Rosh HaShanna of 1988, a resident of Lakewood was walking down the major residential road there of 14th Street. Suddenly, a car came racing down the street; the man tried to move to the side of the road to get out of the way, but the car PURPOSELY SWERVED OVER TO WHERE HE WAS AND KNOCKED HIM DOWN! Boruch HaShem, he was not killed, “just — severely — injured.” He (too) had to be transported by medical helicopter to the special trauma center in Philadelphia. Boruch HaShem, the doctors there were able to sew him up; as far as I know, he is living today.

    The wicked car driver had no registration, no insurance, and had been driving on a license THAT HAD BEEN REVOKED for earlier reckless driving. He was arrested, but was quickly let out of jail; the rumors were that one of his uncles was a sheriff in the nearby town of Jackson.

    The operator of the wreak age lot in Lakewood related to me that EVERY WEEKEND, scores of totally ruined cars are brought in. The crashes were caused by the very worst driving crimes: teenage kids DRIVING DRUNK and DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE! They are arrested; but then, a day latter, they are let out!!

    5.) In the suburban town north of the SF Bay Area where my family resides, about eight years ago, the following incident occurred. A grown teen-age boy was given by his father a brand new special custom made Ford Mustang. He wanted to show off his super fancy new car, so he took three of his friends for a ride in it. He was driving on one of the many country roads that are right outside of the town; at one point, he decided to really “show off” the power of his top-of-the-line car, so — on this just two lane country road — he started racing it. He was soon zooming it at ALMOST 100 MPH; understandably, it quickly flung out of control and vehemently crashed into a large poll.

    The boy driver was only slightly injured and was soon out of the hospital. The story with the three passengers was quite different. One was immediately killed, one died a few days latter in the hospital, and one did survive, but had to undergo extensive surgery.

    The boy driver never showed any public remorse and never apologized to his victims’ families.

    The local media reported that the police were planning to really throw the book at the kid. However, and I repeat, HOWEVER, the boys father was quite a wealthy man and thus held a position of high prestige in the community. Furthermore, the boy himself was a very good football player on his high school team and was thus greatly admired by the administrators of his high school.

    So the only “discipline” that was actually done to him was: 1.) His driver’s license was suspended for three years.
    2.) One of the local judges — not even in a courtroom — one of the local judges came over to the campus of his high school, and in one of the classrooms there, the judge had a private talk with the boy.

    6.) (For this next one, we will need to turn the clock back several more slots, for) it happened probably around the 1930’s. My mother’s oldest sister, A’H, was driving the family’s car when a drunken driven truck heavily rammed into her. Boruch HaShem, she was not killed, “just injured.” To get her back together again, she had to be in the top local hospital for six full months. This was long, long before the age of “health insurance” and “hospital coverage,” and the many thousands of dollars of medical bills completely wiped out whatever money my grandparents had previously managed to save.

    They attempted to get compensation from the guilty drunk driver, but it was a case of individuals against big business. The truck driver was an employee of an ice delivery service, and the truck was a company vehicle. Understandably, the corrupt company wanted to cover for its worker, so (obviously, behind the scenes) it paid off the lawyer that my family had hired. So the only “payment” my family got was $1,000 for their ruined car.

    Boruch HaShem, my aunt was able to fully function, marry, have children and grandchildren, and live a fairly long life. However, the horrid incident, the excessive hospital stay, and the legal betrayal, all took a painful toll. Soon afterwards, her mother — my grandmother — contracted (Lo Alaynu) the yenem machla of severe diabetes; at one point, all her teeth had to be removed, and she was Nifteres at the age of 57. Three years latter, my grandfather was Nifter.

  10. In my above long comment, I forgot to type in the local time where I am. So the top of it should read:

    Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Mikeitz
    Time: 2:07 PM Pacific Standard Time


    The time of this one is a few minutes latter:

    Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Mikeitz
    Time: 2:17 PM Pacific Standard Time

  11. All of this contradicts what the initial reports said — that the passengers reeked of alchohol and that the blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit. Yes, our assemblymen should get involved. He had “bald tires”? Spare me, spare me.


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