NY Police Arrest Suspect Behind Brutal Antisemitic Attack on Brooklyn Man Who Wore IDF Sweatshirt
Police in New York have arrested a 27-year-old Staten Island man in connection with an ugly antisemitic assault on on two Jewish men at the end of last month.
The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit announced on Tuesday morning that Suleiman Othman, whose photo was widely circulated in the aftermath of the attack, had been charged with assault in the third degree and hate crime and aggravated harassment and hate crime.
The two Jewish men were assaulted in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn on Dec. 26 after Othman, who was accompanied by another man, spotted that one of them, Blake Zavadsky, was wearing a sweatshirt adorned with the Israel Defense Forces emblem.
After insulting the pair as “dirty Jews,” Othman allegedly told Zavadsky, “You have five seconds to take off that sweatshirt or I’ll rock you.” He then punched Zavadsky twice in the face while the other man threatened to attack his friend, Ilan Kaganovich. Iced coffee was thrown over Zavadsky’s shirt as a final insult.
In the aftermath of the attack, Zavadsky noted that his family had moved to the US from the Soviet Union in search of a “better life” that would allow them to express their Judaism and their support for Israel.
“You can’t be scared to walk outside and say you’re Jewish,” Zavadsky said. “You have to be proud of who you are and stand up for what you believe — and not be intimidated.”