Man confronts Jews in New Jersey bagel store

Police investigating incident in which suspect angrily confronted patrons in Teaneck bagel store as a possible "bias incident".

Tags: New Jersey
Ben Ariel ,

Police car
Police car

A suspect who angrily confronted patrons at a popular kosher bagel store in Teaneck, New Jersey, on Wednesday may have been emotionally unstable, but local police are investigating the incident as a possible bias incident because the suspect allegedly used anti-Semitic slurs at the eatery, reports.

Police received a call at about noon on Wednesday regarding an altercation inside the restaurant, Sammy's Bagels located on Queen Anne Road in Teaneck.

"The preliminary investigation revealed that this person entered the store and confronted two patrons. He engaged in a verbal dispute with the first patron by using an expletive while telling him to take off his hat," said Police Chief Glenn O'Reilly and Township Manager Dean Kazinci in a joint statement.

"He confronted a second patron inside the store using the same language. This second confrontation turned into a shoving match at which time the patron received a scratch to his face," they added.

A police source added that Teaneck police are familiar with the suspect from previous incidents and asserted that he may have "a mental health issue."

The suspect fled the eatery before police arrived, and then began confronting people who called 911.

Police caught the suspect and brought him to a hospital for an evaluation. He was subsequently released and taken to police headquarters for further investigation, according to

"Preliminarily, this appears to be an isolated incident. The Township will not tolerate any acts of Bias and will use all available resources to investigate and prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law," said O'Reilly and Kazinci.

Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin added that the person is someone who is known to police, and, at this time "the incident does not appear to be related to any other incident or groups around the country."

The incident comes two weeks after the shooting attack on the kosher market in Jersey City, in which three people were killed, including two members of the local Hasidic community.

In that incident, the shooters deliberately targeted the kosher market and one of them reportedly left behind a handwritten note which said, “I do this because my creator makes me do this and I hate who he hates.”

State officials said they believe the suspects were motivated by anti-Semitic and anti-law enforcement beliefs and are probing possible ties with the Black Hebrew Israelites, a movement of African-Americans who believe they descended from the biblical Israelites.