'If I had a gun I'd shoot you' - Jewish man punched on NYC subway

Zlatsin was taken to the hospital, and was given stitches, saying in an interview that he was on painkillers but still felt pain in his jaw and face.

  Fima Zlatsin following his assault on a New York City subway. (photo credit: Fima Zlatsin/via Dov Hikind)
Fima Zlatsin following his assault on a New York City subway.
(photo credit: Fima Zlatsin/via Dov Hikind)

A Jewish man was punched while traveling on a New York City subway last Tuesday, in another incident in a spate of assaults on Jewish New Yorkers.

Fima Zlatsin said in an interview with Americans Against Antisemitism (AAA) founder Dov Hikind that he was on the subway when a group entered his car with speakers, and one of the men did a dance flip, landing on Zlatsin's foot. 

The suspect, described by Zlatsin as an African-American man in his 20s, reportedly expressed that he thought that Zlatsin was filming with his phone following the alleged attacker's jumping on Zlatsin's foot.

"Give me the phone, Jew," Zlatsin said the attacker demanded.

Zlatsin said that he refused the demand, and was immediately punched in the face. 

"I personally feel as a Jew that I don't feel safe taking the subway."

Fima Zlatsin

"There's blood pouring out of my mouth, it's going all over my face, it's going all over my arms, it's on my shirt, I'm dripping in blood and no one in the Subway is doing anything," Zlatsin recalled in the interview.

As the attacker exited the car, he reportedly said that "If I had a gun I would shoot you."

Zlatsin was taken to the hospital, and was given stitches. He told Hikind that he was on painkillers but still felt pain in his jaw and face.

Hikind told The Jerusalem Post that a police report was filed.

Many Jewish New Yorkers feel unsafe

"I know that they're trying their hardest," Zlatsin said of police efforts, but that "I personally feel as a Jew that I don't feel safe taking the subway."

When there is an assault, "for a lot of us its a statistic, but the victim is affected for the rest of their life," Hikind explained to the Post. "It's non-stop attacks on Jews, creating an environment of fear."

Hikind, a former New York State Assemblyman, said that he had been told by many New York Jews following recent attacks that they wouldn't be wearing their kippahs or Magen David necklaces. Zlatsin said that he wouldn't be removing his kippah, but was scared about taking the subway again.

A system that "emboldens" crime

AAA released a report hours before the alleged attack on Zlatsin that claimed that only one person had been convicted and imprisoned for anti-Jewish hate crimes since 2018, and that many cases were dropped or resulted in plea deals without prison time.

Hikind tweeted that New York City District Attorney "are derelict in their duty to prosecute violent criminals. There must be consequences for violence or it will get worse!"

The attack also comes after a high-profile incident in which NYPD officers and teens brawled in a Manhattan subway station.

"The assault on our officers in the subway is another example of individuals emboldened by a system that, just days ago, immediately released one of them after being arrested for robbery," said New York City Police commissioner Keechant Swell. "Once again, they are shown that there are no consequences for violent criminality."