The Muslim suspect who beat an elderly Hasidic Jewish man in Boro Park on Sunday has now been charged with a hate crime.
Sources confirmed to YWN that the Brooklyn District Attorney upgraded the charges on Friday afternoon, after inexplicably resisting calls and recomendations all week to do so.
Farrukh Afzal, 37, of Staten Island, has 8 prior arrests.
As reported on YWN, Afzal reportedly shouted “Allah, Allah”, said he wanted to “kill all Jews” and made references to ‘Israel’ while viciously beating 62-year-old R’ Lipa Schwartz on Sunday.
The attack appeared to be unprovoked (not that anything could ever justify such a heinous act).
Schwartz said he feared for his life during the attack: “I’m telling you if he had a knife he would stab me right on the place. No doubt,” Schwartz said.
Furthermore, video footage appeared to show Afzal switch lanes and nearly hit ANOTHER Jewish pedestrian, then blow a red light as he sped down 13th Ave enroute to 46th street where he viciously beat Schwartz.
FOOTAGE OF ASSAULT IN VIDEO BELOW – VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED
YWN was at the forefront of the pressure campaign to have D.A. Eric Gonzalez upgrade the charges, documenting much of the disturbing nature of the attack. A final point was the revelation that Afzal had been released on a mere $15,000 bail, indicating that the powers that be were not treating this case with the severity it warranted.
Afzal’s lawyer claimed that Schwartz had punched the window of his client’s car during an alleged argument that started when Afzal honked his horn, frustrated by how long it took the 62-year-old to cross the street. The lawyer claims the two men were yelling at each other, which led to the alleged hitting of the window and ultimately, the assault in the street.
On Monday, however, NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind slammed those trying to “mischaracterize” the attack as anything but a vicious hate crime.
“Mr. Schwartz has been characterized in some reports as having had a prior incident with his attacker; an encounter that led to “road rage” as some described it. But this is patently untrue. Mr. Schwartz never saw his attacker before. He did not encounter him that morning prior to being attacked. Mr. Schwartz simply got up, washed, dressed, and headed for synagogue. He was a block from his home when a car screeched to a halt and someone charged at him, knocked him down and began to viciously beat him”, Hikind said.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind addressing the media with Mr. Schwartz on Sunday night:
TY @BrooklynDA for presenting a hate crime charge against the assailant in Sunday’s assault in Boro Park. It is important that, in a high-profile case like this, the attacker is held accountable for his actions. Kudos again to @BPShomrim for their role in apprehending the perp!
— Councilman Deutsch (@ChaimDeutsch) October 19, 2018
The system works.@BrooklynDA Eric Gonzalez obtained an indictment charging the vicious criminal who assaulted a resident of our community with multiple felonies and hate crime enhancement. https://t.co/2Q0j5vVD5t via @YWN
— Kalman Yeger (@KalmanYeger) October 19, 2018
Boro Park attacker is now charged with a Hate Crime. After attacking Jews with screams of “Allah! Allah!” was there ever a doubt? Kudos to @NYPD66Pct for calling it right and to @BrooklynDA for now bringing these charges. https://t.co/IErxJ9IYLB
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) October 19, 2018
#BoroPark #Shomrim, @BrooklynCB12 and the @BrooklynDA’s office are working #HandInHand on the evidence from the assault this past Sunday morning on 13th Avenue to ensure the attacker is prosecuted to the fullest extent. #TeamWork pic.twitter.com/bjJCFVDHaL
— Boro Park Shomrim (@BPShomrim) October 16, 2018
Maira Riaz, Afzal’s sister-in-law, told the NY Post that Afzal is “a good guy” who “just has a case of paranoia and schizophrenia”.
“He’s been seeing things and believes he’s a prophet,” she said of Afzal. “He’s just off his meds. He has nothing against anyone and doesn’t want to kill any Jewish person.”
Schwartz’s family and many in the Boro Park community were angered at the prosecutor’s decision to drop hate charges against Afzal.
“He’d been hit, he’d been attacked, all this, and now it’s not a hate crime?” Schwartz’s son, Isaac, 20, told the Post.
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LOOK: Hasidic Judge Ruchie Freier was responsible for a #Muslim man who viciously beat a Hasidic Jewish man being released on $15,000 bail Farrukh Afzal, 37, has not been charged with a hate crime despite the fact that reports indicate he shouted “Allah”, said he wanted to “kill all Jews” and made references to #Israel while beating R’ Lipa Schwartz in #BoroPark on Sunday
R’ Lipa Schwartz dancing in Shul on Sunday night; thanking Hashem that he survived the vicious attack:
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