NYC man charged with assault on man for wearing Israel Defense Forces hoodie arrested, charged with hate crimes

A Staten Island man who attacked a Jewish man in Brooklyn late last month for wearing an Israel Defense Forces sweatshirt was arrested Tuesday and is expected to appear in court for his first time.

Suleiman Othman, 27, is charged with assault as a hate crime and aggravated assault, police said.

Blake Zavadsky and a friend, Ilan Kaganovich, both 21, were waiting for the opening of a Foot Locker on the morning of December 26 when they were reportedly approached by two men.

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The men allegedly threw anti-Semitic insults at them and one of them allegedly disagreed with Zavadsky’s sweatshirt, which bore the Israel Defense Forces insignia, a source told Fox News.

Zavadsky told The New York Post that he was assaulted after refusing to take off the sweatshirt.

The attack sparked a surge in support for Zavadsky, including from Republican city councilman Inna Vernikov, who helped stage a demonstration against anti-Semitism earlier this month.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the attack “appalling” and “unacceptable” and said anti-Semitism and “all hatred has no home in New York.”

Dov Hikind, a former New York State councilor and founder of Americans Against Antisemitism, told Fox News that he plans to appear in Othman’s court hearing.

“Our justice system today is more interested in… the criminal than the victim. The victim doesn’t even count that much,” Hikind said, pointing out that cases of anti-Semitic assaults in New York City and elsewhere are highs at all times. “If this man just walks…what message does that send?”

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Suleiman could not be reached for comment. It was not immediately clear whether he had hired a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

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