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Brooklyn Judge Gets Tough With "Wild Animal" Who Attacked Cop

Aug. 8, 1961 - In Brooklyn today, Kings County Judge Samuel S. Leibowitz (pictured) made good his threat to deal harshly with attackers of policemen. He sentenced Rafael Appelaniz, 21, to seven and a half to fifteen years in Sing Sing Prison, terming him "a thug and a wild animal." Appelaniz had pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree assault and carrying a dangerous weapon. Patrolman Daniel Scavone charged that on May 28, Appelaniz slashed him with a 15-inch bayonet while resisting arrest. Judge Leibowitz, remarking that it was a "miracle" that the policeman had escaped serious injury, said Patrolman Scavone "would have been within his rights to have shot and killed him on the spot." Appelaniz had been running from a crowd that accused him of having molested a young girl.


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