Police arrested Faisal Elezzi, 25, of Staten Island, as one of the suspects in the beating of a Jewish man in Times Square. Elezzi is charged with assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime, and aggravated harassment as a hate crime.
On Thursday May 20, Joseph Borgen, 29, was heading to a pro-Israel rally in Times Square when he was attacked by five men who screamed slurs at him and beat him and pepper-sprayed even as he fell to the ground. Borgen, who was seemingly identified because he was wearing a yarmulke, was taken to the hospital and has since been released.
Elezzi is the second man arrested in connection to the attack; on Friday May 21, police arrested Waseem Awawdeh, 23. Awawdeh was accused of beating Borgen with crutches and was charged with assault as a hate crime in the 2nd degree, gang assault as a hate crime in the 2nd degree, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon, which was the crutch used in the assault.
“They were using their fists, they were kicking me, punching me, kicking me all over my body,” Borgen told Fox5. “What happened yesterday is just not the answer to anyone’s problems, regardless of what color of skin you are, what race you are, what ethnicity, what religion. That’s just wrong on so many levels regardless of who you are.”
Police were at the scene of another alleged anti-Semitic hate crime on Monday, May 24, when a man outside a shul verbally harassed people trying to enter. The incident took place at 9:30 p.m., on East 27th Street near Avenue S in Midwood.
When someone tried to intervene, he was punched in the face by the suspect, who was identified by police as Hesham Ghonim, 20. The victim’s glasses were broken and he suffered minor injuries.
Police took Ghonim into custody, and he was brought to Coney Island Hospital for observation.
Ghonim is being charged assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, resisting arrest, criminal mischief, and menacing.
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