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February 7, 2022 3:25 pm

Florida Police Charge Three Neo-Nazis for Assault on Jewish College Student

avatar by Dion J. Pierre

Neo-Nazis attacking University of Central Florida student David Newstat just miles away from the UCF campus. Photo: Twitter.

Police in Florida have charged three men for an antisemitic attack on a Jewish college student at a recent neo-Nazi rally in Orlando.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Friday it arrested Joshua Terrell, 46, and Burt Colucci, 45, with battery as a hate crime, and 47-year-old Jason Brown for grand theft.

“We will not stand for hate,” the the sheriff’s office tweeted Friday, after the Jan. 29 demonstrations held by the so-called National Socialist Movement (NSM) that drew a national outcry.

According to a local Fox affiliate, University of Central Florida student David Newstat was driving home from a retail store when neo-Nazi protesters began hurling antisemitic abuse for having an Israeli flag on his a license plate cover.

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Rolling down his window, Newstat denounced the demonstrators then left his car to film them. As he turned his back to leave the confrontation, one of the men spat on Newstat, prompting him to shove the aggressor.

The neo-Nazis then swarmed the Jewish student, punching, kicking, and pepper spraying him. During the attack, Newstat’s mobile phone fell from his hand and was stolen by Brown. It was later recovered from a storm drain.

“I’m trying to go to the store, to Target, and I’m coming back home, and I’m being berated by Nazis,” Newstat told FOX 35. “My grandfather was a survivor. Other members of my family were survivors of the Holocaust and migrated to the US after. It’s very sad to see people like this can be so ignorant and can have so much hatred built up in their hearts.”

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) revealed Friday that one of Newstat’s assailants, Burt Colucci — a Florida native and leader of NSM since March 2019 — was previously charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and felony disorderly conduct in Chandler, Arizona, for pepper-spraying and pointing a handgun at a group of black people in a car.

Jason J. Brown, also from Florida, is a member of the New Jersey European Heritage Association (NJEHA) and active in the Goyim Defense League (GDL), a virulently antisemitic hate group. In 2021, Brown helped organize the group’s “Name the Nose” tour and has attended several “White Lives Matter” rallies.

The ADL Center on Extremism monitored the neo-Nazi rally and, having background information on Newstat’s assailants, helped the Orange County Sheriff’s Office confirm their identities.

During the rally, ADL said, NSM members pantomimed Nazi salutes and brandished signs that said “Jews aren’t white” and “It’s okay to be ANTI-SEMITIC.”

Last Monday, UCF Hillel said the demonstration was “hurtful.”

“We are deeply disturbed by the National Socialist Movement demonstration yesterday,” UCF Hillel wrote in a statement posted to Instagram. “Hateful language, use of Nazi imagery and threats directed at the Jewish community are unacceptable. We will continue to work with out partners to address these antisemitic attitudes in the community.”

Following UCF Hillel’s statement, UCF Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Andrea Guzman called on the campus community to “learn and reflect on our differences.”

“As Knights, we stand together to condemn hate, bigotry, and acts of intimidation in all of their forms,” she said. “Injustices directed toward any group of people do not align with our institutional values and do not belong in our community. We remain steadfast in our commitment to embracing differences and ensuring UCF is a place where everyone can learn, grow, and thrive.”

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