Scuffle breaks out after cops arrest Hasidic man
During a Torah procession on Sunday, a face-off between the Borough Park Orthodox Jewish community and the NYPD began after police arrested a Hasidic man for blocking the path of a police car.
Chaos ensued as police attempted to handcuff Joel Herskovitz, whom authorities said was purposefully blocking a police car that was attempting to disperse the crowd. People had come out to celebrate a Torah being given to a nearby synagogue, according to the New York Post.
As Herskovitz resisted the handcuffs, the crowd took up a chant of “Nazis! Nazis!” directed at the police officers. A scuffle ensued, after which one lieutenant ended up in the hospital, reported the Post.
Herskovitz, 38, told the Post that the arrest was “overkill.”
“They shouldn’t have done anything. I was just walking peacefully with the crowd. [A cop] just pushed me from behind . . . They came to ruin a peaceful celebration,” he said.
Video footage filmed as the conflict unfolded shows the Orthodox community surrounding the cops, yelling “Nazis!” and “Let him go!”
Herskovitz was taken into custody at the 66th Precinct, where he received a desk-appearance ticket for obstructing governmental administration. Dozens of those incensed by his arrest stood outside the jail until his release later Sunday night.
A police source quipped to the Post, “Like ‘How dare the Police Department stop us from walking in the middle of the street?’” and added that efforts from the community to remove the commanding officer of precinct are not likely to succeed.