After initial deliberation, Afzal Farrukh, the 37-year-old suspect in Sunday’s attack on Lipa Schwartz, was charged Friday by the District Attorney’s office with a hate crime.
Lipa Schwartz was attacked as he was walking to shul for Shacharis.
The NYPD recommended Farrukh be charged with hate crime charges. The District Attorney’s office initially declined those charges, but now seemed to reverse course and on Friday said he is being charged with a hate crime for the vicious attack.
In a statement to Hamodia late Friday afternoon, NYC Councilman Chaim Deutch said he was pleased that Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez chose to present a hate crime charge to the grand jury. “It is important that the perpetrator faces full accountability for his crime, and I am grateful to the Brooklyn DA for taking witness accounts and the victim’s testimony seriously.”
In addition, Councilman Deutch thanked many people from the diverse communities who joined the press conference this past week which called for such action by the DA.
“It is a testament to the power of unity and communal support that exists in our great city,” said the councilman in his statement.
Farrukh has an extensive police record of violent assaults, with a reported eight previous arrests. The Staten Island Advance reported last year that he was arrested for chasing a neighbor with a shovel and damaging the victim’s car after the two got into an argument about money.
Farrukh’s bail has been set at $15,000.