NY: FIVE CHARGED IN BEATING
Five Orthodox Jewish teens were indicted for an October hate crime attack in Brooklyn against a Muslim immigrant from Pakistan, the district attorney’s office said yesterday.
Shulomi Bitton, Yossi Friedman, Benjamin Wasserman and two juveniles are charged with second-degree gang assault and third-degree menacing, Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said in a prepared statement.
Muslim leaders around the country characterized the attack against Shahid Amber, 24, in the Midwood section of Brooklyn on Oct. 29, as an example of growing anti-Muslim sentiment in America. The attack against Amber came 10 days after Alia Ansari, 38, an Afghan-born mother of six, was shot and killed while walking down a Fremont, Calif., street wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf. There were no arrests in that incident, but some Muslim leaders believe she was targeted because of her nationality or faith.
Amber was outside a Dunkin’ Donuts shop eating ice cream when he was approached by a group of teens who began taunting him, using profanity and calling him a terrorist, published reports said. He was thrown against a wall, punched and kicked, suffering a broken nose, black eyes and other injuries.
The district attorney’s office’s Civil Rights Bureau will prosecute the cases against Bitton, Friedman and Wasserman. If convicted, they face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. The two juveniles’ cases will be handled in Family Court.