A New York woman has been battling trumped-up charges for nearly two years after police raided her home in 2019, seized 21 fake guns and one inoperable firearm, and hit her with felony gun possession charges.
Prosecutors have since dropped the felony counts, but they’re still trying to convict her of misdemeanor offenses.
“This has been hell for two years for me and my children,” 33-year-old Elizaveta Zlatkis told the New York Post this week. “They publicly humiliated me, and now they refuse to admit that they were wrong.”
“They are trying to save face and extend this case past three years so I can’t sue them,” she claimed. “They want me to take a plea [deal], but I didn’t do anything wrong.”
In December of 2019, New York Police Department’s 112th Precinct celebrated taking “multiple guns off the street” after they raided Zlatkis’s home and seized the offending weapons.
Great job yesterday from our Field Intelligence Officer and Special Operations Unit for a successful search warrant taking multiple guns off the streets of Forest Hills. pic.twitter.com/4oNwIeRjYp— NYPD 112th Precinct (@NYPD112Pct) December 28, 2019
But many of the “weapons” were obviously fake. After prosecutors took a closer look, they realized that 21 of the 22 guns were toy replicas, air rifles, or starter pistols. Only one of the pistols was real, according to sources who spoke with the New York Post, and that one is inoperable because it’s missing the trigger, handgrip, and internal workings.
Zlatkis said at the time that the toy guns belonged to her then-husband, who loaned them to rappers for use in music videos.
Despite these new revelations, New York officials are trying to save face by charging Zlatkis with a slew of misdemeanors. Queens prosecutors filed a new complaint without the felony charges but still hit Zlatkis with 11 counts of possession of an imitation pistol, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and one count of possession of ammunition for a pistol or revolver.
If officers had realized the guns were toys, it’s unclear whether Zlatkis would be facing any charges at all. Now, she’s prepared to go to trial.
“I’m willing to go to trial,” she said. “But the last thing that they want is the embarrassment when I beat them in court. My 11-year-old son knew the guns weren’t real.”
Commenters on the 112th Precinct’s tweet are well worth a read. Here are just a few:
So…You ruined some poor kid’s Christmas by stealing all of his airsoft gear? pic.twitter.com/5dYHRYQCJg— David Warberg (@Jumpkix) January 2, 2020
It is pretty hilarious that pigs from long island can’t identify a firearm even if given the maximum law enforcement training at their disposal. pic.twitter.com/JHiXSA3PiK— no pasarán (@notmynypd) December 12, 2020
These are toys you absolute clowns— lumpyprol (@lumpyprol) December 13, 2020
What a joke. Your proud of this achievement. You settled on busting toy guns because your unsuccessful in taking real guns off the streets. Well, what do you expect if you have Joker as the mayor! You better off giving those toy guns to orphans for christmas.— Rey Alpuerto (@reyan504) December 15, 2020