Man gets 11 years in jail for 2018 antisemitic attack Brooklyn

Rabbi Menachem Moskowitz, 52, was strangled and assaulted by James Vincent, who shouted antisemitic slurs.

A gavel in a court of law (photo credit: REUTERS)
A gavel in a court of law
(photo credit: REUTERS)

A man was sentenced to 11 years in prison Monday for an antisemitic hate crime where a hassidic man in Brooklyn was assaulted and strangled while walking home from synagogue.

The defendant, 44-year-old James Vincent, was convicted in late October of first- 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.

The crime in question took place on April 21, 2018, when 52-year-old Rabbi Menachem Moskowitz, a father of nine, was walking home from the synagogue on Shabbat. Vincent saw him and shouted "You f**ing Jew, you Jews took my house and mortgage," and then ran up to him and began strangling him as well as repeatedly punching him.

Bystanders were able to intervene and separate the two, with Vincent continuing to shout antisemitic slurs before leaving.

The injuries have severely affected Moskowitz, who works as a sofer and sustained a broken rib, bruises, swelling and an abrasion, and continues to suffer today, especially in his right shoulder, his wife, Channie, told ultra-Orthodox daily Hamodia.

Crown Heights, Brooklyn (credit: PANORAMIO / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)Crown Heights, Brooklyn (credit: PANORAMIO / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

“His range of motion in that arm is limited, and he has difficulty sleeping because of the pain,” she said.

“This was a frightening and unprovoked attack that left an innocent man terrorized,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement

“We will not tolerate bias-motivated crimes in Brooklyn, where we pride ourselves on the diversity of our neighbors. I hope that this sentence sends the message that my office will pursue and bring to justice those who target our community members for hate-fueled violence.”

Speaking to Hamodia, Mrs. Moskowitz said she was happy with the sentence.

“We are very happy, because this sends a message that it’s not ok to attack people because you hate them,” she said.

Also Monday, an indictment was filed against a man who threw a Molotov cocktail into a Brooklyn deli and stabbed a deli worker.

The man, Flatbush resident Joel Mangal, 38, was arrested by fire marshals after the incident, video of which was shared on social media.

He now faces charges of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree arson, first-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree aggravated harassment, second-degree assault and other charges.

“Thankfully, this frightening attack did not lead to more serious injuries, but this kind of lawlessness is dangerous and requires an appropriate law enforcement response,” Gonzalez said. “We will now seek to bring this defendant to justice and hold him accountable.”