NY rabbi arrested on 3rd impersonation charge

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MAMARONECK, N.Y. (AP) A rabbi from the New York suburbs has been arrested for the third time on a charge of impersonating a police officer.

State police say Rabbi Alfredo Borodowski is accused of angrily waving a badge at a driver who cut him off on Interstate 87 in Yonkers in April.

Thursday’s arrest came just a few hours after the rabbi pleaded not guilty to a similar incident in Mamaroneck in June. And it came less than 24 hours after his arrest in White Plains for an alleged episode in May.

State police said that during the Yonkers incident, Borodowski was videotaped, flashing a badge, by a passenger in the other car. That footage has not been released.

His lawyer, Andrew Rubin, entered the plea in Mamaroneck Village Court after prosecutor Diana Hedayati agreed to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor. The revision means the rabbi is much less likely to be jailed if he’s found guilty.

Judge Daniel Gallagher ordered a psychiatric evaluation and adjourned the case to Sept. 12. Rubin has said the rabbi suffers from bipolar disorder.

Borodowski will have other court appearances in the meantime. He was arrested Wednesday night in White Plains on the same misdemeanor charge, and Rubin said the rabbi would be surrendering to state police later Thursday in connection with a similar complaint in Yonkers.

Borodowski did not speak during Thursday’s court session and refused to answer questions outside the courthouse.

In the Mamaroneck case, which occurred last month, Borodowski is accused of pulling his Camry alongside a woman’s car, flashing a badge and shouting: “Police! Police! Pull over!”

Police said he told them, “That girl was driving too slow, and I hate when people do this.” He denied posing as a police officer.

On Wednesday, a driver in White Plains complained the rabbi had confronted him in a rage in May, claiming to be an officer and displaying a badge. The driver said it appeared Borodowski wanted him to drive faster.

In Yonkers, a man said Borodowski flashed the badge and ordered him to pull over after he swerved in front of the rabbi on Interstate 87 in April.

The Westchester district attorney’s office said the charge in Mamaroneck was reduced from felony status because the rabbi’s behavior did not include intent to commit another crime while impersonating an officer.

Richard Clifford, a lawyer representing the woman who reported the Mamaroneck incident, said he was not disappointed that the charge was reduced.

“Putting everyone in jail is not a solution,” he said.

Borodowski has been fired from a position at prestigious Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan. He is still listed as the leader of a congregation in Larchmont.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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