Livery car driver Afzal Farrukh, 37, attacked Orthodox Jew Lipa Schwartz, 62, in an apparently anti-Semitic attack as Schwartz was walking to synagogue.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Livery car driver Farrukh Afzal, 37, assaulted Orthodox Jew Lipa Schwartz, 62, as Schwartz was walking to synagogue. The attack took place on Sunday at around 7:30 AM in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn.
A video of the attack shows Farrukh cruelly beating the elderly Schwartz, repeatedly punching him in the head and throwing him to the ground.
The account of an eyewitness leaves little doubt this was an anti-Semitic attack. “I saw the driver running after the pedestrian. And he was screaming at him that he hates the Jews and he would like to kill all the Jews,” the eyewitness told New York’s Channel 11 News. Schwartz was dressed in Hassidic garb.
Schwartz suffered several injuries, including a split lip and cut ear. He told the BoroPark24 blog, “I feared for my life. I knew it was either fight my way out of this or I might be dead.”
Prosecutors say the attack followed an altercation at a crosswalk when Farrukh honked at Schwartz for walking too slowly. The two men yelled at each other. Farrukh’s lawyer alleges that Schwartz punched the vehicle’s window.
Although Farrukh, who lives in Staten Island, had been arrested on charges including a hate crime, at his arraignment late Sunday that aspect of the attack was ignored. Farrukh was charged with attempted assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, menacing and harassment. His bail is set at $15,000.
Farrukh has eight prior arrests, according to police.