Suspect Arrested in Recent Brutal Antisemitic Attack in Crown Heights
A suspect has been arrested for a brutal assault of a 63-year-old Jewish man in August, ABC 11 reported Thursday.
Oniel Gilbourne,26, was charged with the Aug. 27 attack on Abraham Gopin who was taking a morning walk in Lincoln Terrace Park.
Gopin was punched and hit with a large brick. He suffered a cut to his forehead, a broken nose and two of his front teeth were knocked out. He was treated at Maimonides Medical Center and later released.
Gilbourne was reportedly hospitalized following his arrest, but police gave no further information about his condition. He is facing charges of assault as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon for his role in the attack.
Gopin said that initially, he had sought to defend himself and that “it was a fight for several minutes.” However, he said that his assailant was “determined to kill, no question.”
The August attack came amid an increase of attacks on Jewish residents of New York.
Shortly after the attack, Rabbi Eli Cohen, the executive director of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council characterized the attacks as “a disturbing trend.”
“I don’t think there’s one particular cause that’s underlying what’s going on,” Cohen told The Algemeiner. “But statistics don’t lie, and we have seen an increase in incidents over the past year and a half.”
According to Benny Friedman, Gopin’s son-in-law, the victim heard his attacker yell, “Dirty Jew,” at him. Friedman said that the slur “makes it very painful.”
“My father-in-law has a big beard,” he added. “My father-in-law is very easily identifiable as a Hasidic Jew. My father-in-law speaks English with a very heavy Israeli accent.”
ABC reported that NYPD data showed there were 145 antisemitic hate-crime complaints from January 1 to August 25 this year. That is an increase from 88 during the same period in 2018.