Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) released a statement following today’s announcement by police of an arrest in the October 7th attack on Leonard Petlakh, executive director of the Kings Bay Y.
Petlakh was attacked outside Barclays Center after the Nets-Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game as protestors shouted anti-Semitic slurs. The suspect, identified as Shawn Schraeder, was arrested in St. Louis and is now in Brooklyn awaiting arraignment.
The statement follows:
“I’m pleased that police arrested a suspect in the brutal attack on Leonard Petlakh but I find it disturbing that they do not plan to charge him with a bias crime.
“Given the anti-Semitic nature of this attack, I urge authorities to reconsider this decision. I will be calling on the district attorney to treat this as a bias case and seek the harshest penalties that are allowed under the law.
“According to multiple accounts of the incident, the suspect did not work alone. He was part of a group of anti-Israel protestors whose intentions turned hateful and violent. I encourage law enforcement to pursue the accomplices who fled after the attack and bring them to justice as well.
“As Leonard recovers from this attack, it is incumbent upon all of us to keep the outrage alive and to not ever allow bias-motivated violence to become old news. As this incident and many others like it have demonstrated, anti-Israel rhetoric has a way of crossing the line quickly to anti-Semitic rhetoric.
“We must continue to speak out against this unacceptable behavior and to seek justice for all those who are victimized by the actions of individuals whose violence is motivated by hate.
(YWN Desk – NYC)