Leiby Kletzky's accused killer: 'I just panicked'

'NY Daily News' interviews Levi Aron, who allegedly kidnapped and murdered the 8-year-old hassidic boy in Brooklyn.

Leibby Kletzky 311 (photo credit: NYPD)
Leibby Kletzky 311
(photo credit: NYPD)
The man accused of killing eight-year-old hassidic boy Leiby Kletzky in New York last month addressed what he referred to as “the incident” for the first time in the media on Friday. “I don’t know what happened, I just panicked,” Levi Aron, 35, said.
The New York Daily News interviewed Aron, deemed by a court last week fit to stand trial, at Riker’s Island Prison in New York. He faces charges of kidnapping and first degree murder.
RELATED:Stunned hassidic community buries slain Brooklyn boy
Aron’s lawyer, Pierre Bazile, said the evaluation merely permitted court procedures to continue and that the defense team may still claim insanity.
The suspect has pleaded not guilty.
According to the Daily News report, Aron remained silent when repeatedly asked if he wished to apologize for the murder, but nodded his head at one point in response to the question.
Upon being asked why he abducted and kept the boy, he answered, “He looked familiar. I thought I knew him.”
Aron told police that he had meant to return the boy, but had gotten scared when he saw missing-child posters.
Aron repeatedly answered, “I don’t know,” when asked by the Daily News why he killed the boy or what happened. “It hurts too much to think about it,” the paper quoted him as saying.
Kletzky went missing on July 11 while walking home from a day camp held at his school, Yeshiva Boyan Tiferes Mordechai Shlomo, in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood.
Police and around 5,000 volunteers, coordinated by the Brooklyn South Shomrim volunteer civilian patrol organization, joined in a block-by-block search for him, including Jews from the local community and from as far away as Queens, the Catskills, Monsey and Boston.
Kletzky had begged his parents to let him walk home from the camp. His mother had waited for him at a predetermined point a few blocks away at 50th Street and 13th Avenue.
The boy missed a turn upon leaving camp and headed in the wrong direction.
Parts of his dismembered body were found in the refrigerator of the suspect’s home on July 13.
According to the indictment, Aron abducted the boy who he happened to meet outside a dentist’s office. He is believed to have killed and dismembered the boy in order to hide the evidence.
Gil Shefler contributed to this report.