October 31, 2006

Crown Heights outrage

Sorry I am so late with this story, folks:
A 16-year-old Hasidic boy walking home from a Brooklyn synagogue on Yom Kippur was jumped by a group of teens who called him a "f-----g Jew," witnesses and his family charged. Mendel Chesney was heading home about 10 p.m. Sunday when he was attacked by as many eight young men on Carroll St. in Crown Heights, witnesses and police said.

"At first, I thought they might be playing around, so we walked over to where the crowd was. That's when I see the talaisim [prayer shawls] and know it's a Jewish person and hear someone say, 'You f-----g Jew,'" said Michael Gitchel, who lives nearby.

Police confirmed Mendel was beaten, but NYPD officials said investigators have determined the attack was a robbery - not a bias crime. Upset that the NYPD has not classified the attack as a hate crime, about 700 people rallied Wednesday outside the Chabad-Lubavitch World Headquarters on Eastern Parkway.

Neighbors broke up the melee and chased the attackers into the arms of two cops on patrol from Brooklyn's 71st Precinct. Mendel suffered a broken nose and a gash on the back of his head.

Cops arrested three of the alleged attackers and have been looking for as many as five others. Charges were pending against the suspects yesterday. Their names were not available.