Footage emerged of the violent anti-Semitic attack on an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who was severely beaten and choked while walking home from Shabbat services in New York.
In the video, the attacker jumps on the victim, 52-year-old Menachem Moskowitz, from behind in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, sending his hat and glasses flying into a nearby garden, beating him, pushing up against an iron fence and attempting to strangle him.
“I turned around and I see that he’s right behind me and he jumped me. And then he said ‘I hate Jews,’” Moskowitz told CBS late Sunday. “He put me in a headlock and I’m trying to maneuver out of him. In the meantime, I’m screaming ‘Help! Help! Help! Help!’ He says, ‘You don’t need help. I’m going to kill you right here.’”
Moskowitz sustained a cracked rib along with a black eye, swelling, bruising and scratches over his body.
“There’s fear. There’s a lot of fear. The thing we know is that, unfortunately, there are people out there who want to kill us for one reason — because we are Jews,” his wife, Channah Moskowitz, was quoted by CBS as saying,
The Jewish man was walking home from prayer services at about 1:30 on Saturday afternoon. He told the CrownHeights.info news website that he said “good afternoon” to a man who was smoking a cigar on a street corner.
“As soon as [I greeted] him he began yelling at me ‘you fake Jews, who are you saying hello to? You’re fake Jews and you stole all my money and robbed me, and stole my mortgage and my house. I want to kill you!’” it quoted the man as saying.
Moskowitz said he walked away from the man quickly but that the assailant caught him and put him in a chokehold and threatened to kill him.
Two people eventually separated them and told Moskowitz to run. He called the Jewish ambulance service Hatzalah from his home, which notified police.
“Two nurses came. Medical, wearing white. Male and female,” he told CBS.
The assailant can also be seen in the video being held back by the two good Samaritans while threatening Moskowitz as he collected his hat and glasses.
Police have opened an investigation into the attack as an assault motivated by bias.
It was the second attack against Jewish men in the neighborhood within a week.
Last Friday night a Jewish man was assaulted in the Crown Heights near 770 Eastern Parkway, the international headquarters of the Chabad movement.
The Anti-Defamation League announced on Sunday that it is offering $5,000 rewards for information leading to the arrests and convictions of the individuals responsible for both attacks.
“We unequivocally condemn these senseless assaults,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York regional director. “We appreciate the leadership of the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force who are investigating these assaults as hate crimes. Hopefully these rewards will encourage anyone who may have seen something to come forward.”
ADL tracked 11 incidents of assaults motivated by anti-Semitism across New York State in 2017, seven of which occurred in Brooklyn. Statewide, incidents of anti-Semitism jumped over 90 percent in 2017.