US court charges 5 haredi men for attacking gay black man in New York

Charges don't include counts for hate crimes; if convicted, ultra-Orthodox men could face up to 25-year jail sentence.

Victim Taj Patterson, after being attacked  (photo credit: screenshot)
Victim Taj Patterson, after being attacked
(photo credit: screenshot)
Five haredi Orthodox Jewish men were indicted for attacking a gay black man in Brooklyn.
The five were charged Wednesday in New York state Supreme Court in Brooklyn with gang assault and other counts for the December attack, but not for hate crimes, WABC-TV reported. They were associated with a civilian neighborhood watch group, the Williamsburg Safety Patrol Unit, or Shomrim.
Taj Patterson, a 22-year-old student at the New York City College of Technology, said he was walking through the heavily Orthodox neighborhood of Williamsburg on his way home to a nearby neighborhood when more than 12 Hasidic men attacked him while shouting anti-gay slurs. He said he suffered a broken eye socket, torn retina, blood clotting, and cuts and bruises to his knees and ankles.
The five men indicted are Aharon Hollender, 28; Abraham Winkler, 39; Mayer Herskovic, 21; Pinchas Braver, 19; and Joseph Fried, 25.
If convicted, they each face up to 25 years in prison, WABC reported.