Police snag suspect in attack on Jewish man, charge him with hate crimes and gang assault
Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF
An individual suspected of attacking a Jewish man with pepper spray and hitting him with a crutch in New York City Thursday was arrested Friday, an NYPD spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Waseem Awawdeh, 23, was arrested and charged with gang assault, menacing, hate crime assault and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the NYPD. Law enforcement officials arrived on the scene after a 911 call reported the assault, an NYPD spokesperson told the DCNF.
“Upon arrival they encountered a 29-year-old male who was the victim of an assault by a group of males,” the NYPD spokesperson told the DCNF.
During last night’s demonstration in Midtown Manhattan, 23-year-old Waseem Awawdeh was arrested for using a crutch to assault a man in front of 1604 Broadway. He’s been charged with hate crime assault 2, gang assault 2, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon. pic.twitter.com/48ydYMfGSi
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) May 21, 2021
The unidentified 29-year-old man who was attacked was in stable condition as he was taken to NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue, an NYPD spokesperson told the DCNF.
Law enforcement officials found in a preliminary investigation “that the 29-year-old male was approached by a group of 5 to 6 males who knocked him to the ground and assaulted him while making anti-Semitic statements,” an NYPD spokesperson told the DCNF.
“The individuals punched, kicked, pepper sprayed and hit the victim with crutches during the assault,” the NYPD spokesperson told the DCNF. “A subsequent video and area canvass led to the apprehension of a 23-year-old male in the vicinity of West 47 Street and Broadway.”
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force was investigating the incident before Awawdeh’s arrest, the department said on Twitter. Videos of the attack surfaced on social media showing several people attacking a man during a demonstration.
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo condemned the attack and directed the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force to assist the investigation, in a statement posted to Twitter.
“I unequivocally condemn these brutal attacks on visibly Jewish New Yorkers and we will not tolerate anti-Semitic violent gang harassment and intimidation,” Cuomo said.
Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement: “Anti-semitism has NO place in our city. There’s no excuse for violence against someone because of who they are. None. We will bring the perpetrators of this vicious act of hate to justice.”