It appears we might now have the identity of the unidentified “Jump Kick Man” responsible for kicking Kyle Rittenhouse in the face during the teenager’s confrontation with rioters on Aug. 25, 2020.
Rittenhouse is on trial facing homicide and other charges for shooting three people, two of them fatally, during the rioting and looting that occurred in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake two days earlier. The 18-year-old Rittenhouse has said he fired in self-defense.
According to a timeline of events determined by an expert video analyst hired by the defense, the unidentified man kicked Rittenhouse in the face during the three-minute span when the shootings occurred, WBBM-TV reported.
First, Joseph Rosenbaum chased down Rittenhouse and lunged at his weapon, prompting the then-17-year-old to fire four rounds into his pursuer. “About 28 seconds” later, Rittenhouse was running away, tripped and fell down. It was then that “Jump Kick Man” was seen leaping toward Rittenhouse and kicking him in the face.
— Kristen Barbaresi (@KristenBarbar) November 15, 2021
Over the next six seconds, Rittenhouse fired two shots at the unidentified man, missing him.
Then, Anthony Huber, the second man shot and killed by Rittenhouse, began assaulting the teen with a skateboard — prompting Rittenhouse to again open fire. Finally, Gaige Grosskreutz pointed a handgun at Rittenhouse before being shot in the arm.
Given this timeline of events, it appears that the unidentified man’s actions might have played a role in the second two shootings. Had he not kicked Rittenhouse in the face, perhaps the teen would have gotten up and escaped before the other two men began advancing on him.
Well, according to Wisconsin Right Now, that man has now been identified as Maurice Freeland.
The outlet reported Tuesday that Freeland is “a felon with a long criminal history and an open domestic violence charge” against him.
WISN-AM radio host Dan O’Donnell reported earlier Tuesday on the identity of “Jump Kick Man” without naming him. O’Donnell said he “is a 40-year-old Black male from Kenosha with an extensive criminal record who was at the time of the Rittenhouse shootings on probation following a conviction for domestic violence battery.”
That report said he wasn’t being named because “he has not been criminally charged in connection with the Rittenhouse case.”
EXCLUSIVE: We have identified the mysterious Jump Kick Man who stomped on Kyle Rittenhouse as a career criminal who should have been in jail instead of part of the mob on the street the night of the shootings. https://t.co/cybELpEeW8
— Dan O’Donnell (@DanODonnellShow) November 16, 2021
Wisconsin Right Now quoted an unnamed “law enforcement source” as saying the prosecution had informed the Rittenhouse defense team that Freeland told authorities he is “Jump Kick Man” only on Thursday.
The source said “it’s not clear” when the lead prosecutor in the Rittenhouse case, Thomas Binger, learned that Freeland had come forward to identify himself.
If the defense had known of Freeland’s identity beforehand, it is possible Rittenhouse’s lawyers would have wanted to call him to the witness stand.
The available video footage of “Jump Kick Man” is not of the highest quality and only shows him while wearing a mask.
Because of this, the law enforcement source told Wisconsin Right Now, “authorities were unable to do effective facial recognition analysis to prove definitively that Freeland” is telling the truth about being “Jump Kick Man.”
If the prosecution withheld this evidence from the defense, it would not be the first time, according to the Rittenhouse team.
On Tuesday, the defense filed a motion for a mistrial due to prosecutorial misconduct, alleging that the state gave the Rittenhouse attorneys a lower-resolution version of drone footage it had acquired of the night in question. Higher-resolution footage existed but the prosecution failed to share it, according to the defense.
From the beginning, the Rittenhouse case has appeared incredibly straightforward. It seems obvious that the teenager merely exercised his right to self-defense.
Nevertheless, the prosecution decided to try this case, making incredibly stupid, counterintuitive arguments along the way.
It wouldn’t be too surprising if it turned out Binger and his cohorts were hiding evidence from the defense this whole time. After all, without deceptive tactics such as these, the prosecution wouldn’t have a case at all.
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