HATE CRIME CHARGES FILED AGAINST FIVE JEWISH TEENAGERS IN BROOKLYN
Five Jewish teenagers have been charged with hate crimes for attacking a Pakistani-American man with brass knuckles in the Midwood section of Brooklyn and calling him a "terrorist," officials said.
Shahid Amber, 24, said in an interview last night he was eating ice cream near a Dunkin' Donuts at the corner of East 15th Street and Avenue M, when he was approached by a group of five teenagers at about 8:15 p.m. on October 29. They knocked the ice cream from his hands, called him a "terrorist" and told him: "Go back to your country," he said.
The teenagers held his arms behind his back and began beating him with a pair of brass knuckles, breaking his nose and leaving his torso covered in bruises, he said. Doctors told him he would need surgery to correct the damage done to his face.
Police arrested the five teenagers soon after the attack. Three were identified as Yossi Friedman, 17, Shulomi Bitton, 16, and Benjamin Wasserman, 16. Two 15-year-olds that were arrested were not identified because of their age. They all lived in the vicinity of the street corner where the attack happened.
The alleged perpetrators were charged by the Brooklyn district attorney with a number of crimes, including assault in the first degree, assault in the second and third degree as hate crimes, gang assault in the first degree, and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, a spokesman said. For the most serious charge, assault in the first degree, they face between eight and a third and 20 years in prison, the spokesman said. . .
In visits to local mosques, Mr. Choudrhi said he was able to calm the community, telling them not to let their emotions get ahead of them. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has planned a press conference on Monday, where Mr. Amber will speak about the attack.