Three defendants for assaulting synagogues in Brooklyn
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
Three Brooklyn men were charged on 68 counts related to two incidents in May allegedly targeting religious Jews.
The defendants allegedly said, “Kill all Jews,” asked a Jewish man to say “Free Palestine,” beat him when he refused, and persecuted him and a friend while he was holding a cricket bat.
District Attorney Eric Gonzalez identified the defendants as Daniel Shaukat, 20, from Bensonhurst, Haider Anjam, 21, from Midwood, and Ashan Azad 19, also from Midwood. They have been charged variously with third degree assault as a hate crime, second degree threat as hate crime, third degree assault, criminal mischief, criminal respiratory disability and related charges.
According to the investigation, on May 22, 2021 at around 7.45 p.m., the defendants stopped a blue Toyota Camry they were in in front of a synagogue on 16th Avenue in Borough Park, shouted, “Liberate Palestine, kill all Jews” and spat at the direction of a victim.
Anjam and Shaukat reportedly got out of the car and approached two other men dressed in traditional clothing. They allegedly repeated the same statements and then pounded on the synagogue door after children and adults ran inside. Anjam is also said to have kicked the side mirror of a parked vehicle.
About 15 minutes later, two other Jewish men were walking home after the Shabbat service on Ocean Parkway in Kensington when the same Toyota pulled up at the intersection. Anjam and Shaukat allegedly got out, approached the two victims and repeatedly asked them to say “Free Palestine”, according to the investigation. Then they are said to have beaten one of the victims several times and put him in a stranglehold. Azad is also said to have hit one of the victims on the head.
The victims ran away and Anjam allegedly pulled a wooden cricket bat from the trunk of the Toyota and pursued them. A Lyft driver who was watching the altercation offered to help the victims and drove them several blocks to safety.
Anjam was charged last week, Shaukat was charged on Monday and Azad will be charged at a later date. They were released with bonds between $ 4,000 and $ 5,000 and sentenced to return to court on September 9, 2021. The defendants face a maximum sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison if they are convicted of the highest number
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “All members of Brooklyn’s various parishes should feel free to spend their day observing their religion without fear of attack. Attacks like those described in this indictment – including violence and threats of violence based on bias and bigotry – are heinous and criminally prosecuted. “
The case was being investigated by New York Police Detective Daniel Zhang of the Hate Crimes Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Samantha Perlstein of the District Attorney’s Office of Hate Crimes under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Ari Farkas, Assistant Director of the Hate Crime Bureau.
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