Suspect who assaulted US Jewish leader charged with hate crime
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Suspect who assaulted US Jewish leader charged with hate crime

Grand jury upgrades charges against 25-year-old New York man for brutally attacking Leonard Petlakh during anti-Israel protest

Leonard Petlakh, executive director of the Jewish Community Center, Kings Bay Y (YouTube screenshot)
Leonard Petlakh, executive director of the Jewish Community Center, Kings Bay Y (YouTube screenshot)

Charges against a New York man suspected of assaulting the head of the Brooklyn Young Men’s Hebrew Association have been upgraded to include a hate crime charge.

A grand jury upgraded the charges against Shawn Schraeder, 25, of Queens, on Thursday, CBS New York reported.

Schraeder is accused of punching Leonard Petlakh, the executive director of the Kings Bay Young Men’s Hebrew Association, following an exhibition basketball game October 7, 2014, between the Brooklyn Nets and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Fans verbally sparred inside the arena as the game was ending when pro-Palestinian protesters began shouting slogans and a pro-Israel fan grabbed a Palestinian flag from one of them, Petlakh told JTA at the time of the incident.

As the crowds spilled out of the arena and onto the street, he said, one of the protesters took a swing at Petlakh, who was with his 14- and 10-year-old sons. His nose was broken and he required eight stitches. The anti-Israel demonstrators reportedly chanted “Free Palestine” and “Your people are murderers” during the alleged assault.

Schraeder was charged with assault following the incident. The upgraded charges came after eight months of investigation by the grand jury.

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