The teenage son of an Israeli diplomat will not escape charges for ‘intentionally driving motorcycle into a Florida cop’ after he attempted to claim diplomatic immunity.
Avraham Gil, 19, was arrested on Saturday in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida- a suburb of Miami – but was later released after his attorney claimed diplomatic immunity due to his father being a diplomat.
On Thursday, the U.S. Department of State told Local 10 News that despite an initial claim by Gil’s attorney, the teen is not entitled to claim immunity based on his father’s position at the consulate.
‘The Department is aware of this incident,’ a U.S. Department of State spokesperson said. ‘We can confirm that, as the dependent of an Israeli consular officer, the concerned individual is not entitled to civil or criminal immunity.’
Gil is the son of Eli Gil, a diplomat who works out of Israel’s consulate in Miami.
Avraham Gil, 19, is seen sobbing in his mugshot after he was arrested on Saturday in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida – a suburb of Miami
Police say Gil intentionally ran his motorcycle over a police officer after being instructed to stop driving
The Sunny Isles officer was reportedly left with an ‘incapacitating’ leg injury
The officer remains out of work, per the news outlet.
The teen faces a first-degree felony charge of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence, as per the news outlet.
A spokesperson for the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office said in a statement Thursday said they were proceeding with an investigation.
‘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 spokesperson said, in part.
Attorney David Seltzer released a lengthy statement maintaining their client’s innocence, as per Local News10.
‘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. 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.’
Gil was released on his own recognizance after his lawyer argued that his father Eli Gil, a diplomat at Miami’s Israeli Consulate, has diplomatic status
Gil’s plate is seen during one of his interactions with police. The plate reads ‘PLS CHASE’
The incident took place earlier this week when Gil was riding his motorcycle recklessly and weaving through traffic.
The officer, who was in the midst of conducting a traffic stop, motioned the teen to stop.
Gil apparently did not follow the officer’s commands and ended up ramming his bike into the cop running over him, per the incident report.
Authorities said that he was left with an incapacitating’ leg injury.
The injured officer grabbed Gil off his bike and brought him to the ground before he was taken into custody.
Gil apologized and allegedly told cops he didn’t mean to hit the officer, but was weaving through car lanes because ‘he hates waiting behind traffic.’
Despite having at least two previous encounters with cops in just two months, Gil was released on his own recognizance after his lawyer argued that his father has diplomatic status.
The State Department states that ‘family members forming part of the household of diplomatic agents enjoy precisely the same privileges and immunities as do the sponsoring diplomatic agents.’
Those privileges include complete immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the host country’s courts – unless waived by the sending state.
Diplomatic privileges include complete immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the host country’s courts – unless waived by the sending state. Gil’s father Eli is pictured above
Following Gil’s arrest, Local 10 uncovered the teen’s previous encounters with police, which include a license plate that reads ‘pls chase’, and appear to point to a pattern of traffic misconduct.
Gil was stopped for traffic violations on December 31, and a video of the encounter shows him telling an officer his dad is a diplomat.
‘Would you like me to call him?’ the teen is heard asking the officer.
Miami Shores police tried to pull the teen over again on January 14, but he kept riding, and Miami Shore police does not chase for traffic offenses.
Gil is charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting an officer with violence.
The diplomat’s son is also accused of driving without a plate or license.
His next court appearance is on February 26.