London Police Arrest Middle-Aged Man in Connection With Brutal Assault on Pregnant Jewish Woman
Police in London on Tuesday arrested a man in connection with last week’s horrifying assault on a pregnant Orthodox Jewish woman in the Stamford Hill neighborhood of the UK capital.
A statement from the Metropolitan Police confirmed that the man, in his late 50s, had been arrested at an address in north London on suspicion of Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) and is now in custody at a police station in east London.
The statement noted that police officers arrived at the scene of the assault about 30 minutes after it occurred on Thursday, March 18. CCTV video of the outrage showed a middle-aged man in a black coat and white sneakers running up behind the 20-year-old woman, who is seven months pregnant, as she walked down a gated alleyway towards her father’s apartment. He then thrust a pillow case over the victim’s head, attempting to suffocate her as he punched her repeatedly.
The police statement said that “enquiries are ongoing to establish a motive” for the attack.
“At this early stage, it is not believed to be linked with any other offenses,” the statement continued. “Police have been conducting patrols in the Stamford Hill area to provide reassurance to the local community.”
The victim’s brother told the London-based Jewish Chronicle that he was in no doubt that the attack was antisemitic in nature.
“It was because she was Jewish. She was wearing a Jewish headscarf at the time,” 18 year-old Solomo Reis said.
Reis told the paper that the victim’s baby had been unharmed and that the mother-to-be, who received hospital treatment for minor injuries, had made a full recovery. She is now in Israel on what is believed to be a planned trip.
Rabbi Herschel Gluck — president of the Shomrim volunteer security agency in Stamford Hill, which released the CCTV footage of the attack — told Sky News that the young woman had been left “traumatized” by the incident.
Gluck urged “all parties” to ensure that the safety of women and girls in Stamford Hill, which is home to a large Haredi community, “is put on the front burner and is assured.”