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Daily News Does Hit-Job on Williamsburg Shomrim

[NY Daily News] — Hasidic patrols in Williamsburg rule the streets like real cops – driving unmarked cars, flashing emergency lights and snatching people they think are criminals, say residents and police.

Members of the private security patrols cruise the Brooklyn neighborhood listening to police scanners. They don’t carry guns and have no arrest power.

Some in the neighborhood – a mix of blacks, whites, Latinos, Hasidim and hipsters – say they help keep crime down. Others contend the patrols unfairly target people of color.

“We are trying to keep the neighborhood safe,” said Hershy Deutsch, 23, founder of the Kings County Safety Patrol.

“People think we go around trying to beat people up. We don’t do that.”

Deutsch said his 25 members use personal cars in Williamsburg, sometimes flashing orange and yellow lights “for caution.”

Williamsburg’s most well-known Jewish patrol is the Shomrim – named after the Hebrew word for guard. There are similar groups in Crown Heights and Borough Park, Brooklyn.

Residents say they often see speeding unmarked cars driven by members of Jewish patrols. Some of the vehicles have flashing red and blue lights.

A Daily News reporter recently spotted a mechanic on Kent Ave. installing a red-and-blue backlight package on a black, unmarked Toyota Camry. The mechanic said the car, which hadbogus parking placards in thewindshield, belonged to a Williamsburg Shomrim patrol member.

“It’s not illegal for me to install them – only for them to use them on the street,” the mechanic said.

The Shomrim patrol wouldn’t talk about the lights, but the NYPD suggested the patrol was running afoul of the law. “The placards are not official, and red rotating lights are restricted to authorized police and fire vehicles and ambulances,” said Paul Browne, the NYPD’s top spokesman.

Jewish residents said they’re surrounded by crime-filled public housing projects and need more eyes on the streets. Last week, police said Dwight Chaparro, 29, whacked Rabbi Mordechai Stern, 57, over the head with a wooden shelf.

Witnesses to the fight over a parking spot at Bedford Ave. and Wilson St. called Shomrim, whose members held the suspect until cops arrived.

Chaparro’s mom said her son was covered with “black-and-blue” marks because Shomrim members beat him up. He was charged with felony assault, menacing and criminal possession of aweapon.

John Figueroa, 14, said a Jewish patrol member accused him of stealing a Hasidic kid’s bike and then cracked him in the nose with a walkie-talkie. Records show Yakov Horowitz, 32, was charged with assault after the May 18, 2009, attack on Wythe Ave. “They thought we stole it. I was like, ‘Y’all not taking this bike,’” Figueroa said.

Horowitz was convicted of disorderly conduct a year later, paying $120 in court fees for the violation, a court official said. The Kings County Safety Patrol said Horowitz was not a member.

The Williamsburg Shomrim didn’t return calls about Horowitz.

Instead, it emailed a statement saying it has helped with the arrest of “dozens of suspects – the attackers of Jews and non-Jews alike.”


  • 1. i lived in CH wrote:

    this is all B/C COPS dont do there job (go turn ur lights on and speedin 2 Dunkin’ Donuts)

  • 2. Daily Who? wrote:

    To fish with the Daily News! NYC liberals living in haughty-totty enclaves don’t know what life is like for people living in the neighbourhoods where Shomrim patrol (until of course they are themselves attacked chas v’sholom and then they very quickly change their tune). I betcha that the upright non-Jewish residents of these areas are also mighty grateful for Shomrim, because they know that it provides them relief from criminal activity too. Why is it always the crooks and their mothers who complain about the community patrols?! Let the journalists continue with their sensationalist journalism and we’ll continue taking care of ourselves the way we want.

  • 3. yehuda wrote:

    It’s not a hit job in the slightest.

    Both sides viewpoints are given – as much as they were willing to cooperate.

    That shomrim come off as law breaking racist thugs, who also do some good, is, sadly, pretty close to the truth

  • 5. ?? wrote:

    Why put the CH Shomrim scooters pic? That’s not fair to them and nothing to do with the article.

  • 6. Protection wrote:

    Every citizen has the right to protect himself.

    Every family has the right to protect themselves.

    Every community has the right to protect themselves.

  • 8. #6 wrote:

    obviously, but not the right to beat someone down just because they are a goy.
    thats what they do in williamsburg ive worked there for more than a decade and i see how they operate.

  • 9. Yid wrote:

    we always trying to be politically correct and find favor in the eyes of our neighbors. What will they say.

    Shomrim must not forget who they represent and who is their real protector and lehavdil who is the enemy.

    Only those who fought nazis know the truth.

    then of course you have the “smart” liberals who try to justify their claims by saying “I lived in a bad neighborhood too” or “My aunt was also killed by Germans” “So I’m not saying this cause I’m naiive” “I even have german freinds.”

    Go take a walk down Lee avenue late at night, get a wooden plank strike you from behind, then talk.

    Jews are a sheep surrounded by seventy wolves, today, in America, in Brooklyn

  • 10. your mother wrote:

    unless you’re just willing to call random criminals and thugs from brooklyn “nazis” and painting people in a broad stroke the way that nazis painted the jews (btw, YOU didn’t fight the nazis, do the math), i’d say you have to rethink your position, Yid. this sounds to me to be the same type of racially superior insularity that is exhibited throughout the south in regards to blacks and mexicans (we gotta lynch ’em or they’ll take over!). calling petty thugs that may harass or attack people (who may or may not be jewish) (and for reasons that likely have little to do with them being jewish) nazis is highly ignorant, and it shows you clearly don’t understand the kind of evil that the jewish people were up against in facing the nazis. the fact that german and polish jews were not able to stand up against hitler doesn’t give anyone the right to take that frustration out on anyone that doesn’t happen to be “chosen”


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