Jewish Man Assaulted on Queens Subway

By Reuvain Borchardt

The victims’s face was bloodied in the assault.

NEW YORK — An Orthodox Jewish man was punched and bloodied on a Queens subway this week, in what he described as an antisemitic  attack.

Chaim, a 37-year-old accountant who spoke with Hamodia about the incident and did not share his last name, was traveling on an E train in Queens Tuesday around 7:30 p.m., between the Roosevelt Ave and Queens Plaza stops, when a group of four men began playing music and dancing for money. 

“One of the dancers stepped on my foot — it could have been by accident, it wasn’t such a big deal,” Chaim says. “But maybe he thought I would do something against him. He then went for my phone – maybe he thought I was recording him, though I wasn’t.”

The dancer demanded Chaim’s phone and started grabbing at it.

“He said, ‘Give me your phone Jew,’ and then, when he realized that he was struggling a bit, he punched me in the mouth. I started bleeding everywhere.”

As Chaim got off the train at the Queens Plaza stop, the assailant said to him, “If I had a gun, I would shoot you.”

Chaim, who had a laceration on his lip, went to Cornell Medical Center’s emergency room, where he received two stitches in his mouth.

Police have not released a surveillance image of the assailant. Chaim described the assailant an African-American man, approximately 5’8” with braided hair, in his late-20’s.

The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident.

Both antisemtic crimes and transit crimes have been soaring this year.

According to NYPD data provided to Hamodia, there have been 160 complaints of antisemitic crimes in New York City this year through July 24, compared to 110 during the same period of 2021. The NYPD did not provide a breakdown of antisemitic assaults vs. antisemitic property crimes, but generally around 80% of antisemitic crimes are property crimes, mostly swastika graffiti.

Major crime in the transit system has increased 53% this year through July 24, including a 19% rise in felony assaults (328, compared with 276 through the same period of 2021), a 45% increase in robbery, and an 89% spike in grand larceny.

Chaim says he has used the subway regularly for years, but now he is unsure whether he will continue doing so. He also said he may consider wearing a baseball cap over his yarmulke.

“People in New York, the greatest melting pot in the world, shouldn’t have to be afraid to wear a yarmulke,” Chaim says. “But this is what it has come to.”

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