Suspect arrested for recent New York attack on ultra-Orthodox man
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Suspect arrested for recent New York attack on ultra-Orthodox man

James Vincent, 40, detained after appearing in Brooklyn Criminal Court on an unrelated case

Menachem Moskowitz, 52, who was assaulted and choked on his way back from Shabbat prayers  in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, on April 23, 2018. (Screen capture: YouTube)
Menachem Moskowitz, 52, who was assaulted and choked on his way back from Shabbat prayers in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, on April 23, 2018. (Screen capture: YouTube)

Police arrested a man accused of attacking an identifiably Jewish man who was walking home from Shabbat services in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.

James Vincent, 40, was arrested on Friday morning after he appeared in Brooklyn Criminal Court on an unrelated case, the New York Daily News reported.

He was charged with strangulation, assault and unlawful possession of marijuana in the April 21 attack on Menachem Moskowitz in Crown Heights.

In footage that emerged last Monday of the brutal assault, the attacker can be seen jumping on Moskowitz from behind in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, sending his hat and glasses flying into a nearby garden, beating him, pushing him up against an iron fence, and attempting to strangle him.

Moskowitz, a 52-year-old father of 9, was walking home from prayer services at about 1:30 on Saturday afternoon. He told the CrownHights.info news website following the attack that he said “good afternoon” to the 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? Your fake Jews and you stole all my money and robbed me, and stole my mortgage and my house. I want to kill you!’” the news website quoted him as saying.

Moskowitz said he walked away from the man quickly but that the assailant caught up with him, put him in a chokehold and threatened to kill him. Two women passersby separated the men and called on Moskowitz to run away.

Moskowitz had several rib fractures and a black right eye from the attack. He also had swelling, bruises and scratching all over his body.

It was the second attack in the same area in two weeks. James has not been identified as a suspect in the other attack.

On Monday, New York State representative Dov Hikind revealed that a philanthropist had discreetly put up a reward of $50,000 for information leading to the apprehension of the assailant.

The same day, the Rabbinical Alliance of America — also known as “Iggud HaRabbonim” — representing more than 950 US Orthodox rabbis, condemned an “alarming” increase in violent attacks on Jews in New York City, saying it would work with authorities to provide protection to “neighborhoods under siege” after at least two anti-Semitic assaults within a week.

The professional rabbinical organization listed three recent incidents in which Jews were violently attacked, two of which have been confirmed as anti-Semitic.

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