Suspect Behind Attack on Man Wearing IDF Sweatshirt Arrested

NEW YORK -

The suspect accused of attacking a Jewish man for wearing an IDF sweatshirt in December has been arrested.

He has been identified as Suleiman Othman, 27, of Staten Island.

Blake Zavadsky and Ilan Kaganovich, both 21-year-old college students, were shoe shopping on 86th Street in Bay Ridge on Dec. 26 when they were approached by two men.

Zavadsky told Hamodia one of the men told him, “Do you mess with the dirty Jews?” and then, referencing Zavadsky’s IDF hoodie, said, “You have five seconds to take off that sweatshirt or I’ll rock you.”

The man then punched Zavadsky twice in the face while the other man threatened to attack Kaganovich. As a final insult, iced coffee was tossed onto Zavadsky’s sweatshirt.

Kaganovich and Zavadsky said it was the first time they had experienced antisemitism in New York.

“I am proud to be who I am. I am proud to be Jewish,” Zavadsky told Hamodia. “And I will still wear that sweatshirt. Nothing is going to stop me from believing what I believe.”

Othman was arraigned on Tuesday night and charged with assault in the third degree as a hate crime, assault in the third degree, two counts of menacing in the third degree as a hate crime, two counts of menacing in the third degree, two counts of harassment, and two counts of aggravated harassment.

Bail was set at five thousand dollars cash or ten thousand dollars bond. As of Wednesday morning, it was not clear if bail was posted for Othman.


Updated Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 12:26 pm .