Midtown Attacker With Long List of Priors Arrested as Victim Questions Safety of Wearing His Yarmulka in Public

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    NEW YORK (VINnews/Sandy Eller) – A 23 year old Brooklyn man who was arrested six times in as many months is under arrest once again in yesterday’s vicious beating of a 29 year old Jewish man in Midtown.

    Waseem Awawdeh of Bay Ridge was arrested by police today and charged with assault as a hate crime, gang assault, menacing, aggravated assault as a hate crime and criminal possession of a hate crime. As previously reported on VIN News, Joseph Borgen was kicked and struck repeatedly by at least six people after being knocked to the ground in middle of Broadway. The New York Post (https://bit.ly/3yxKYH4 ) reported that Borgen suffered a concussion, a black eye and sustained bruises all over his body.

    Awawdeh was arrested last November after attacking a police officer and charged with two counts of assault on a police officer, two counts of assault, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, obstructing government administration and disorderly conduct.

    He was back in police custody one month later and received just a desk appearance ticket for a separate incident involving a switchblade and a pellet and charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. Awawdeh was also arrested four times this year, twice in March and twice in April, for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

    Police Commissioner Dermet Shea blasted the attack on Twitter, tweeting, “There is NO place for hate of ANY kind, against ANY group, by ANYONE in NYC. This, and every incident, will be fully investigated by @NYPDHateCrimes — as they always do. This is a time for NYers to come #together, to be New Yorkers above all else.”

    But those words may not have provided much comfort to Borgen who said that the attack has left him wondering if it is safe look visibly Jewish in New York City.

    “I’ve been in New York for my entire life and I would never in a million years have thought that it would get to this point where I would have to second guess wearing a yarmulke in public,” said Borgen.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio met this afternoon with NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison and Jewish community leaders to discuss an increased police presence at local synagogues and hate crime arrests in regard to yesterday’s violence.


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