Police identify attacker as Farrukh Afzal, 38 • Arrest him for beating a Jewish man in his 60s in the middle of a Brooklyn intersection • He faces charges of hate crime assault, mischief and harassment.
By Yoni Hersch and Israel Hayom Staff
(JNS) An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man was beaten at a traffic intersection in Brooklyn on Sunday in an assault that police are investigating as a possible hate crime.
The attack took place on Sunday morning in the Borough Park neighborhood. The man, 62, was carrying a bag containing his prayer shawl and phylacteries, and appeared to be walking to morning prayer services.
Police identified the attacker as Farrukh Afzal, 38, and arrested him, ABC News reported. He is facing charges of hate crime assault, mischief and harassment.
The attack was captured on local surveillance video cameras. The man, allegedly Afzal, is seen getting out of his car and chasing the Jewish man into the middle of the intersection, where he threw him down on the road and beat him.
Another elderly Jewish man attempted to intervene and was chased off by the assailant.
The victim was treated at the scene by paramedics and taken to a nearby hospital with facial injuries.
Investigators said the incident began after a verbal argument broke out between to the two men while the victim was crossing the street, the Jewish Telegraph Agency reported.
“It’s painful and difficult to see a Jewish man in his 60s brutally beaten in the very heart of our friend the United States by someone who tried damaging the close bond with the American people and American Jews only because they are Jewish,” said Yaakov Hagoel, vice chairman of the World Zionist Organization, and head of the Department for Activities in Israel and Countering Anti-Semitism.
“It’s important to respond quickly to violent people and make sure they are brought to justice,” said Hagoel. “I call on the authorities in the U.S. to take strong measures against them so that every Jew in the U.S. can walk safely in the streets like any other citizen.”