Defense attorneys for 18-year-old defendant Kyle Rittenhouse told Fox News on Thursday that the mysterious “jump kick man” had been identified — and that prosecutors had known his identity all along, but had not brought him to testify.
“Jump kick man” was seen in video of the Kenosha riots on August 25, 2020, pursuing Rittenhouse and kicking him in the face as Rittenhouse attempted to flee to police and stumbled onto the ground. Rittenhouse fired his rifle twice at “jump kick man,” but missed.
One of the two charges of reckless endangerment that Rittenhouse now faces is a result of that altercation — one of five charges currently being considered by the jury — even though prosecutors never named the alleged victim.
Fox News reported that the man is named Maurice Freeland, and that he has a lengthy criminal record. According to Fox, citing defense attorneys, he told prosecutors he would testify in exchange for immunity, but they refused the deal:
Freeland approached the prosecution to testify in exchange for immunity for other charges, including a DUI, but they rejected the offer, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
Wisconsin arrest records show that Freeland has a lengthy criminal history, including charges for battery, disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana and other offenses this year.
They also apparently withheld his name from the defense, preventing Rittenhouse’s attorneys from calling him as a witness. That could prompt the defense to file a new motion for a mistrial, in addition to the two that are already pending with the judge.
Prosecutors have also faced criticism for charging Joshua Ziminski with arson. Ziminski allegedly fired the first shots that night, before Rittenhouse fired at his first assailant, but his pending testimony in his arson trial means that he could not be compelled to testify in the Rittenhouse trial because that might violate his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.