A New York City EMT on vacation with his family in Las Vegas told NBC News that he was the victim of an anti-Jewish hate crime.
Paul Lebowitz, who is from Staten Island, was in Las Vegas with his wife and adult son. The family was having coffee by the MGM Casino when they met another family.
The father of the other family introduced himself as Sam and said he was “from Palestine.”
"I said, turns out I'm from Palestine also. And we were having an amicable, disagreeing conversation," said Lebowitz in an interview with NBC New York.
It was at that point, according to Lebowitz, the situation quickly turned violent, with Sam going on a rant about how the “Jews are not going to exist anymore.”
After Lebowitz responded that “Jews have been around for 5,000 years,” the other man screamed out “baby killers” and then pushed Lebowitz’s face causing him to fall backwards and hit his head.
"I fell flat on my head, back part of my head. What a smack on the floor,” he said. "Being a New York City paramedic, I know a hit like that, I can have a bleed inside my brain and I could die.”
After calling 911, Lebowitz said that he and his family tried to follow the attacker and even flagged down a police officer.
"Police report said it was a battery, I said yeah it's a batter, but this is a hate crime," Lebowitz said. "When I said I'm a proud Jew, that when he hit me. You can't just say it's a battery case, it's a hate crime case."
Dov Hikind, founder of Americans Against Antisemitism, commented on the lack of response from police, who do not appear to be treating the incident as a hate crime.
“Jewish Man Violently Attacked on Vegas Strip. The man, a NYC paramedic, was with his family when someone shouted ‘child killer’ at him upon seeing his star of David and knocked him down, causing a bloody head wound & concussion,” Hikind said.
He continued, “And police were immediately called and even notified when they arrived that the perpetrator, a Middle Eastern-looking man, was next door in a CVS with his family! But they did nothing! Nada. Do Jewish Lives Matter in Las Vegas?”