Nachum Gross Biography
Nachum Gross is the south Florida man accused of aggravated battery after police said he pushed another man, identified as Gerald Steiglitz, 86, out of a condo elevator. Gross’ attorney has said his client was protecting himself and his wife against the coronavirus. The condominium currently allows only two people on elevators at a time in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.
Steiglitz stumbled into a table and bruised his thigh, according to a police report obtained by CBS Miami. Inmate records show Gross turned himself into Miami Beach police on June 2 after the charge was announced.
He posted a $5,000 bond and was released from custody a few hours later. Gross was due back in court on July 31, according to the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Court’s website.
He is 72 years old.
Gross and Steiglitz Exchange
The exchange between Gross and Steiglitz was captured on a surveillance camera. But it was unclear what the two men said to each other in the leadup to the push. The footage does not include audio.
In the video, Gross and his wife were seen getting on the elevator on the 39th floor. WPLG-TV reported they were both wearing masks, although, in the video shared by CBS Miami, Gross’ mask was not covering his nose.
Gross first stopped a young woman from getting on the elevator. He waved her off and she stepped back. But Gross received a different reaction when the elevator stopped again and Steiglitz tried to get on. Steiglitz was also wearing a mask.
The clip shows Gross holding up two fingers as he stepped forward to block Steiglitz from getting on. Steiglitz held up four fingers himself before crossing his arms in front of his chest. Steiglitz appeared to stick his elbows out as he tried to get on the elevator. Gross responded by placing a fist on Steiglitz’s right arm and extending his own arm forward in a light push. Gerald Steiglitz fell backward and hit a hallway table, bruising his leg, according to WSVN-TV.
Steiglitz told NBC Miami that he knew Gross prior to the elevator incident and that they typically waved when they saw each other around the building. He claimed that Gross never asked him to get off the elevator before pushing him.
Police Charged Gross
Miami Beach Police public information officer Ernesto Rodriguez explained on a prepared statement that officers decided to press charges after meeting with Steiglitz. “The MBPD was contacted by the victim and a subsequent investigation was launched. After conferring with the State Attorney’s Office, it was determined an arrest should be made.”
Nachum Gross is charged with aggravated battery against an elderly person. The battery is typically a misdemeanor offense in Florida but the charge is elevated to a felony when the victim is 65 or older. According to Florida’s legal code:
A person who is convicted of an aggravated assault or aggravated battery upon a person 65 years of age or older shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 3 years and fined not more than $10,000 and shall also be ordered by the sentencing judge to make restitution to the victim of such offense and to perform up to 500 hours of community service work. Restitution and community service work shall be in addition to any fine or sentence which may be imposed and shall not be in lieu thereof.