“If I could do it again, I would do it again. I have no problem doing it again,” Waseem Awawdeh reportedly said.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A New York man currently facing charges for anti-Semitic hate crime is unrepentant and even boasted that he’d assault his Jewish victim again if given the opportunity, according to prosecutors.
Waseem Awawdeh, 23, of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, was arrested after he reportedly participated in an anti-Semitic assault last Thursday.
Prosecutors say he and five other men beat a Jewish man in Midtown Manhattan in what was described as an “unprovoked attack.”
During the arraignment hearing on Saturday in Manhattan Criminal Court, prosecutors said that Awawdeh walked up to Joseph Borgen, 29, and called him a “dirty Jew” and said “F–k Israel, Hamas is going to kill all of you.”
While Awawdeh’s friends told the New York Post that he was defending himself and couldn’t have instigated the attack because he’s currently using crutches while recovering from a foot injury, prosecutors said Awawdeh in fact used his crutches as a weapon to attack Borgen.
Prosecutors added that Awawdeh had bragged about his crime, telling a jailer, “If I could do it again, I would do it again. I have no problem doing it again.”
Awawdeh was charged with assault as a hate crime, gang assault, menacing, aggravated harassment as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon.
“The victim was approached by a group of five or six males who knocked him to the ground, assaulted him while making anti-Semitic statements,” Sgt. Jessica McRorie, a police spokeswoman, said in a statement. “They punched, kicked, pepper-sprayed and hit him with some crutches during the assault.”
Police are still searching for the other men involved in the incident.
The victim is recovering from his injuries but said that the event has left him shaken. For the first time, he said, he is starting to feel that wearing identifiable symbols of Judaism in public may compromise his physical safety.
“I’ve heard of waves of hate increasing through the city, and maybe I was a little naive to think it would never happen to me,” Borgen told the Post.
“I’ve been in New York for my entire life and I would never in a million years have thought that it would get to this point where I would have to second guess wearing a yarmulke in public.”