Police say a raging Muslim cab driver beat a 62-year-old Jewish man as he walked to synagogue on Sunday morning in Brooklyn.
The victim of the jihadist attack, Lipa Schwartz, described the frightening moment he was attacked in broad daylight in the middle of the street in Borough Park.
“All of a sudden, ‘boom,'” he said. “I tried to protect myself, run away. I fell. He come again on me.”
Schwartz was on his way to service, which he attends every day, when he said the driver jumped out of his cab and started attacking him. The savage beating happened on 13th Avenue by 46th Street. The victim’s holy items were scattered on the ground.
Another Hasidic Jew tried to help, and the attacker then chased after him.
An arrest was made quickly on the scene. 37-year-old Farrukh Afzal, from Staten Island, drove for a car service in Brooklyn and has been arrested numerous times.
“I went to him when he was handcuffed, ‘what did I do to you that you tried to murder me? Tell me,'” Schwartz said. “He didn’t answer back.”
Schwartz says he has no idea why the man attacked him, but he said he thinks it was because he is Jewish. Initially, detectives said hate crime charges could be filed, but further investigation led them to believe the attack stemmed from a road rage incident. Investigators said Afzal was upset because the victim was blocking his car, and that there is no indication that victim’s identity was a factor.
Afzal was arraigned on charges of attempted assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, menacing and harassment. There is no hate crime component in these charges.
The car service where he worked said that Afzal has been fired.
The TLC released a statement saying, “The driver is not licensed by the TLC, and has been summoned by the TLC in the past for unlicensed operation of an unlicensed vehicle and being an unlicensed operator.”
But what can you expect in Muslim-sympathizing De Blasio’s New York? It’s well known that attacks against against Jews are skyrocketing.
Another recent incident left a man badly bruised. It was captured on camera and now police are searching for the attacker.
Police are keeping watch at the scene of the latest attack on Rutland Road near Schenectady Avenue.
Many Jewish leaders say this is happening too frequently to be a coincidence, and it’s definitely no coincidence that the attacks are coming at a time when the Mayor has embraced Islam.
“People are very, very nervous about what is going on,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind.
Jewish leaders including Hikind told Burrell they believe the recent attacks in Brooklyn aren’t isolated.
“They’re not anomalies?” CBS 2’s Jannelle Burrell asked.
“No, not at all. In between these two incidents, there are so many others. Many of them don’t get reported,” Hikind said.
The latest victim is a 52-year-old orthodox Jewish man who asked that CBS2 not share his name.
Police are looking for the man who went after him Saturday afternoon as he was walking home from synagogue.
“I greeted him and I go, continue. Next thing I know, he said ‘I don’t like Jews, who were you talking to. I don’t talk to Jews.’ He put me in a headlock and I’m trying to maneuver out of him. In the meantime, I’m screaming ‘Help, help.’ He said ‘You don’t need help, I’m going to kill you right here.’”
The assault went on for five minutes before two people walking by pulled the man off and held him down. The 52-year-old was left with a black eye, broken rib and scratches.
A week earlier, police said a 42-year-old man, identified as Ari Ellis, was attacked on Eastern Parkway, punched in the face repeatedly. He suffered a broken nose and broken ribs.
“I don’t understand why they had to pick me,” Ellis told CBS2’s Reena Roy. “I wonder, do people realize this is anti-Semitism?”
“I don’t know if there’s a connection, but there’s a lot of concern there has been tremendous growth of anti-Semitism,” said Hikind.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, last year there were 11 anti-Semitic assaults in New York state. Seven of them were in Brooklyn.
Leaders of New York’s Jewish Leadership Council have written to the NYPD, questioning the timing of the attacks. Both happened on the Jewish sabbath – when there are fewer Jewish volunteer safety officers on patrol.
“We would like people to help us locate the person who committed this horrible attack on an innocent person,” Crown Heights Jewish Community Council Executive Director Rabbi Eli Cohen said. “Being able to walk down the street without being hurt is a civil right that every person has.”
“Unfortunately there are people out there who want to kill us for one reason: Because we are a Jew,” the victim’s wife said.
The ADL is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.
“I am disgusted and saddened by the vicious attack that occurred on Saturday in Crown Heights, which is being investigated as a potential hate crime,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “This is not what our city is about, and my heart breaks that New Yorkers have endured this kind of abuse and violence. Hate has no place here, and I pray those responsible are quickly brought to justice.”
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
October 15th, 2018