Borough Park

Staten Island cabbie indicted with hate crime charges for attacking, body-slamming Hasidic Jewish men

November 16, 2018 By Christina Carrega Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Google Maps image of the intersection of 13th Avenue and 44th Street in Borough Park. Photo courtesy of Google Maps
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An allegedly crazed cab driver was indicted on Thursday after body-slamming Hasidic Jewish pedestrians in Borough Park and attempting to run one of them over.

Farrukh Afzal is accused of driving his cab on 13th Avenue and 44th Street in Borough Park on Oct. 14 and swerving the vehicle towards a Hasidic Jewish man as if to hit him, causing the man to run away to avoid being struck.

Afzal, 38, of Staten Island, then drove his car another block and jumped out when he spotted a 62-year-old Hasidic Jewish man standing at the corner of 13th Avenue and 44th Street.

In a press release issued on Thursday by Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Afzal is said to have struck the older man and chased him into the intersection, where he continued to beat and body-slam him.

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“An investigation into this disturbing incident concluded that the defendant’s alleged unprovoked attack was motivated by hate and that he only targeted those who were dressed in traditional Hasidic attire,” said District Attorney Gonzalez. “Our community has zero tolerance for such bias-motivated crimes. We will now seek to hold the defendant accountable.”

The innocent pedestrian suffered cuts and bruises to his face and body.

Afterwards, Afzal ran towards the older man and passed a delivery man — not wearing Hasidic garb — and continued his rampage, according to the evidence. When a third Hasidic Jewish man intervened and was also chased by Afzal, Afzal was allegedly heard screaming “Israel, Israel.”

Prosecutors said Afzal was heard screaming words that sounded like “Allah.”    

Afzal, who is currently undergoing a psychiatric exam, faces up to seven years in prison for the top charge of second-degree attempted assault as a hate crime.


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