Second person arrested in assault of Jewish man near Times Square
A second person on Monday was arrested in the assault of a Jewish man near Times Square.
Faisal Elezzi was arrested and is being charged with assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime and aggravated harassment as a hate crime, the New York Police Department said.
Waseem Awawdeh was the first to be arrested on charges of assault in the second degree as a hate crime and attempted gang assault in the first degree, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office said.
Awawdah’s bail has been set at $50,000 and he is set to appear in court on May 26, according to the office.
Awawdah continued to state in jail how he would have “no problem doing this again” if they burn a Palestinian flag, ADA Christopher Mills said. If convicted of the most serious count, Awawdah would face a mandatory minimum of 3 1/2 years in prison.
The attack happened last week when Joseph Borgen was walking in Times Square at night wearing a yarmulke.
The attackers, around five to six of them, threw Borgen to the ground and attacked him with pepper spray and kicked him while allegedly yelling “Dirty Jew. Filthy Jew. Fuck Israel. Hamas is going to kill you all. Go back to Israel,” along with other slurs.
“What made attackers or individuals get to that point of hate, that they saw an innocent bystander, innocent individual walking and proceeded to, you know, first thing they do is attack them and hurt them and pepper spray them and attempt to seriously hurt them,” Borgen told CNN’s Don Lemon.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has condemned the attacks on Jewish New Yorkers.
“I unequivocally condemn these brutal attacks on visibly Jewish New Yorkers and we will not tolerate anti-Semitic violent gang harassment and intimidation,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Attacks against Jewish people have increased around the world even as Hamas and Israel called a cease-fire.
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