Disturbed Man on Avenue J Points Knife at Woman, Spits at Yeshiva Students

By Reuvain Borchardt

The suspect under arrest.

MIDWOOD — An emotionally disturbed man known to hang out around Avenue J was arrested Friday after pointing a knife at a Jewish woman and spitting on yeshiva students.

The woman, who asked to be identified only by her first name, Sarah, told Hamodia she was leaving Bagel Hole on Avenue J at east 15th Street at 9:45 a.m. when she saw a man leaning on the hood of her car.

“He appeared drunk or high or psychotic; you could tell something was off,” Sarah says. “I was standing there, trying to figure out how to get to my car, and when he saw me looking at him, he pulled a knife.”

“I ran over to someone standing nearby. He told me that he’s seen this guy around the neighborhood and he didn’t want to get into a fight with him.”

“The guy, who appeared to be Middle Eastern, saw us talking and he started screaming, ‘The two of you are talking about me,’ and, ‘She called me a n******,’ which of course was not true. I never said a word to him.”

After several minutes, the man put the knife away and walked away. Sarah called NYPD and Shomrim. In the brief interim before law enforcement arrived, she says she saw the man spit on several Yeshiva of Flatbush students.

A Flatbush Shomrim file photo of the alleged perpetrator.

The man who had assisted Sarah told her he saw the perpetrator throw the knife in the sewer as police approached.

A Shomrim source told Hamodia the perpetrator is “a known emotionally disturbed person; he’s dangerous,” who has been arrested in the past for “menacing-type crimes.” 

“It was really scary,” said Sarah. “This guy pulled a knife out right in middle of a busy street. Even if he is emotionally disturbed, he’s smart enough to make phony racism accusations against me, and to toss the knife in the sewer.

“He’ll probably be right back on the street soon without bail. Hopefully, he can be forced to undergo psychiatric evaluation and care.”

The suspect, Saad Bhatti, 37, was arrested and charged with menacing. He told officers he did not have a knife, and police have not recovered one.

He has a dozen past arrests, including one for possession of a knife.


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