The attacker of Blake Zavadsky, a Jewish-American who was assaulted in Brooklyn for wearing an IDF sweatshirt, was charged with aggravated harassment and assault as a hate crime by the New York Police Department (NYPD) on Tuesday.
Suleiman Othman, a 27-year-old Staten Island resident, approached Zavadsky and Ilan Kaganovich on the streets of Brooklyn along with another man and attacked them in an antisemitic hate crime, after asking Zavadsky how "he could support those dirty Jews" by wearing the IDF sweatshirt.
Othman told Zavadsky he had to remove the sweatshirt or he would get hurt. When Zavadsky refused to take off the hoodie, Othman punched him twice before pouring his ice coffee on the hoodie. Meanwhile, the attacker’s friend told Kaganovich, who was trying to stop Othman, that if he got involved he would get hurt too.
After the attack, Zavadsky was treated at the scene for a laceration, bruising and swelling to the side of his face.
Othman, the antisemitic attacker, has a history of assault and crime according to the New York Post.
The 27-year-old was reportedly arrested seven times since 2010 for crimes ranging from assault and robbery to endangering the welfare of a child and he was last arrested in July 2020 on a menacing charge.
“I am still going to wear this sweatshirt,” Zavadsky told The Jerusalem Post after the attack. “We should be able to wear whatever we want and believe in whatever we believe in. I am proud of who I am... I’m still in shock,” he added.
Ariella Marsden contributed to this report.