Teen Charged in Beating of Israeli Rabbi

NYPD have arrested a suspect, 15, in the anti-Semitic Brooklyn subway attack. The Israeli victim is in the US being treated for cancer.

Cynthia Blank ,

Illustration: Jews in Brooklyn
Illustration: Jews in Brooklyn
Flash 90

Police have arrested a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of participating in the anti-Semitic attack at a Brooklyn subway station Monday afternoon, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported. 

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) believes the teenager, arrested Tuesday night, was one of the the three assailants who beat an Orthodox Jewish man with his umbrella while shouting anti-Semitic slurs at the victim. 

Police charged the boy with assault as a hate crime. 

The victim, Rabbi Haim Ovanounou, 53, was standing on the platform of the Marcy Avenue J Train station in Williamsburg at around 4 p.m. when one of the attackers came up behind him to pick his wallet from out of his pocket. 

When Ovanounou turned around to ask the man what he was doing, the man called him a "dirty bloody Jew" and spat in his face.

The assailant then grabbed Ovanounou's umbrella, hit him hard in the head with it, and then ran off down the platform. 

In an attempt to chase after his attacker, Ovanounou was almost immediately pounced on by two other accomplices. They knocked him down to the ground and began kicking him repeatedly, while shouting slurs like "(expletive) dirty Jew."

Another man standing on the platform, who tried to intervene by rushing to Ovanounou's aid, was also beaten by the assailants. The attackers then fled, disappearing onto a Manhattan-bound train. 

The victim, a Rabbi, who the police have identified as Hasidic, is an Israeli citizen who came to New York for treatment of Hodgkins lymphoma.

“Maybe those people think the cancer I have, it’s not enough,” Ovanounou told CBS 2 News.

The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Unit is still investigating and looking for the two other assailants.