The homeless man seen on surveillance video getting a beatdown from police for resisting arrest in a Crown Heights Jewish Center gave his first interview since the video went viral. Ehud Halevy, a 21-year-old child of Israeli immigrants who grew up in Midwood, Brooklyn, had been charged with felonious assault of a police officer, which could have gotten him a seven-year sentence. It later became clear that the officer's account on the arrest report did not match the video, and the Brooklyn DA officially dropped the charges yesterday.

In an interview with the Times yesterday, Halevy said that when he was informed of the severity of the charges, he "got scared. I was sort of shocked, surprised." And he began to worry that he "accidentally did hit the cop." But that fear-induced delusion was soon dispelled by the power of cogitation. "I thought for five seconds, and I thought it’s not true,” Halevy recalled. “It’s a lie."

Officer Luis Vega, who is seen on video punching and beating Halevy for more than two minutes while his partner pepper sprays him, has been placed on desk duty pending an Internal Affairs investigation. Halevy would not say what punishment he thinks would be fitting for Officer Vega, only that he "should be disciplined."

But Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, can always be counted to earn his paycheck. He tells the Times, "In this case, it is clear from the video that when the officer attempted to take the subject’s arm, the culprit resisted by twisting and turning away. Using force always looks severe but is necessary to arrest a culprit who resists."

Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes told the Daily News "the video really wasn't relevant to the decision” to drop the charges, because Halevy was staying at the Jewish center with permission. But Halevy's attorney Norman Siegel—who will no doubt be filing a civil lawsuit on behalf of his client—insists the difference between Halevy's beating and all the other instances of police brutality that happen on a regular basis is that "here is the dramatic videotape." And Assemblyman Dov Hikind chimes in, "What happened to Ehud, I believe today, is not the exception and I'm sad to say that."