SECOND ADOLESCENT CHARGED WITH HATE CRIME IN FLUSHING MEADOWS CORONA PARK ATTACK OF JEWISH MAN
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that a second individual, a 17-year-old male, has been charged with assault as a hate crime for an attack in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The defendant, along with others, repeatedly kicked a Jewish man knocking him to the ground and taking his money, his credit cards, his phone and other personal items.
District Attorney Katz said: “Unprovoked attacks on Queens residents, especially ones motivated by hate, will not be tolerated. This defendant will now be held accountable for this alleged antisemitic attack.”
The defendant, of Ithaca Street in Elmhurst, has been arraigned on a 14-count complaint charging him with assault in the second degree as a hate crime; two counts of robbery in the second degree; assault in the second degree; assault in the third degree as a hate crime; two counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree; criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree; assault in the third degree; criminal mischief in the fourth degree; petit larceny; criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree; identity theft in the third degree; and unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third degree.
According to the charges:
On Sunday, February 19, Sam Levy, 48, was walking along the Roundabout in Flushing Meadows Corona Park at approximately 8:25 p.m. when he saw the defendant and approximately five others. The defendant and one of the others separated from the group and positioned themselves at opposite ends of the Roundabout, forcing Levy to have to pass either one of them to exit the area.
As Levy continued walking, he sensed someone run towards him from behind. He turned and saw the defendant running toward him. Levy ran, but the defendant caught up to him and struck him in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground. The defendant and the approximately five others gathered around the prone Levy.
The defendant then kicked Levy on the left side of his face, breaking his glasses and causing bruising and swelling to his left eye.
As Levy attempted to get to his feet, he was dragged back down by the defendant and others who continued to kick him about the head, face, torso and legs and then demanded money. Levy reached into his pocket and took out approximately $200 and his wallet, which contained his identification and credit cards, and tossed them toward the defendant.
While some of the perpetrators continued kicking Levy, others collected the money and wallet and took his cell phone and his house and car keys from his pants pocket.
The group continued kicking Levy while a member of the group yelled out, “___ Jew.” As Levy was being kicked, he yelled out more than 20 times that he was having a heart attack. As some members fled the location, the defendant continued kicking Mr. Levy for another minute and then fled.
Security camera video footage from a Burger King near the park shows the defendant, two other males and a female approximately three hours after the attack at a kiosk using what appear to be credit or bank cards. It has been determined that the cards belonged to Levy.
Levy was transported to a local hospital. As a result of the attack, he sustained bruised ribs, bruising and swelling to his left eye and experienced substantial pain to his torso, back and head.
Assistant District Attorney Gabriel Mendoza, Assistant Deputy Chief, of the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michael Brovner, Bureau Chief and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Major Crimes Bureau Shawn Clark.
Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.