A Brooklyn man has been found guilty for a brutal assault against a Jewish man walking home from a synagogue in Crown Heights 2018.
The defendant, 44-year-old James Vincent, was convicted of first-degree and second-degree strangulation as a hate crime, second-degree attempted assault and third-degree assault as a hate crime, and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He will be sentenced on December 13, where he faces up to 15 years behind bars.
“Today’s verdict speaks to Brooklyn’s resolve to combatting and rooting out hate from our communities,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzales announced in a statement.
“The defendant has been brought to justice for this senseless, disturbing and hateful crime against a man simply walking home from his synagogue. Brooklyn’s strength is in its diversity and I remain committed to vigorously prosecuting bias-motivated violence.”
The attack on Menachem Moskowitz, a 52-year-old father of nine, occurred on April 21, 2018. He told the CrownHights.info news website following the attack that he said “good afternoon” to the man who was smoking a cigar on a street corner.
“As soon as [I greeted] him he began yelling at me ‘you fake Jews, who are you saying hello to? Your fake Jews and you stole all my money and robbed me, and stole my mortgage and my house. I want to kill you!’” the news website quoted him as saying.
Moskowitz said he walked away from the man quickly but that the assailant caught up with the Jewish man and put him in a chokehold and threatened to kill him. Two women passersby separated the men and called on Moskowitz to run away.
Moskowitz had several rib fractures and a black right eye from the attack. He also had swelling, bruises and scratching all over his body.
JTA contributed to this report.