A 50-year-old Jewish man was severely beaten and nearly choked to death on Saturday afternoon after saying “hello” to a black man, who retorted “I don’t like you fake Jews, you stole my money.”
A 50-year-old Jewish man was severely beaten and nearly choked to death while walking home from Shabbos prayer services at a nearby synagogue.
The incident occurred at around 1:30pm on Rutland Road near Schenectady Avenue as the victim was returning home from prayer services at a synagogue in the nearby Kingsbrook Jewish Hospital.
Speaking to CrownHeights.info the victim described the harrowing attack in vivid detail; “As I was walking home I passed a man smoking a cigar on the corner of Rutland and Schenectady and I said ‘good afternoon’ to him,” he said, adding that it’s a nice neighborhood and everyone is close.
“As soon as [I greeted] him he began yelling at me ‘you fake Jews, who are you saying hello to? Your fake Jews and you stole all my money and robbed me, and stole my mortgage and my house. I want to kill you!’
“I thought the man was just crazy so I started walking away, and he shouted ‘you don’t walk away from me’ and started chasing after me.
“He caught up to me at the corner of East 46th Street and Rutland and jumped me, he put me in a choke-hold and I started to feel dizzy, I felt my air going out, I started saying Shema, I thought I was going to die.
“Somehow I was able to move out of it [thank G-d], and started screaming for help and he was saying ‘you don’t need help, I need to kill you’.”
The victim said that he held on to a fence for dear life, afraid that if he would be thrown to the ground he would certainly suffer even worse, all the while the attacker landed vicious punches and kicks on the victim.
“Two nurses who saw the attack intervened and separated the man from me and told me to go, to run away, they didn’t even bother calling police,” said the victim. “When I got home I called Hatzalah, who in turn notified the police.”
The victim suffered a cracked rib along with swelling, bruising and scratches all over his body and was transported to Kings County Hospital, where he remained until the conclusion of Shabbos.
Police have opened an investigation into this incident as an assault motivated by bias, and the victim was interviewed at the hospital by detectives from the hate crimes task force. The victim was also visited by the commanding officer of the 71st precinct.
He described the assailant as being tall and muscular, in his 40’s and had a small beard.
The victim added that he feels that the incident is being treated with severity and hopes that this get resolved quickly, “I never saw this man before, and I have been living in this area for over three years,” adding that he is afraid for others should they come into contact with this person.
This is the second attack in as many weeks that occurred over Shabbos in which police suspect bias to be the motive.
This story has been updated to add a description of the attacker along with a correction of the time the incident occurred.