A man claimed self-defense against a 5-year-old boy ‘armed’ with a tennis racket

A Miami man accused of child abuse is using Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law to try to prevail against charges that he hit a 5-year-old boy he says was “armed” with a tennis rackuet.

The accused is tennis instructor Osmailer Torres, who was arrested in July 2016 after Miami police said he took away the boy’s pint-size racket and hit him with it — giving the child a bruise on the right arm and a lump on his eyebrow. Surveillance video captured the incident on the playground at Miami’s First Presbyterian Church on Brickell Avenue.

But Torres, 30, says the blow was inadvertent as he tried to rescue other students in harm’s way.

In a motion asking a judge for “immunity,” his defense lawyer said the the boy was the “initial aggressor” and had been involved in “various violent altercations” against fellow students. That day, after being separated from other kids, the boy lifted a racket “in the air and was poised to strike again against the other students and Mr. Torres.”

It’s the latest case of a defendant asking a judge to throw out a criminal case under Florida’s controversial law, which makes it easier for courts to clear people who swear they had no choice but to use violence.

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