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Officer sorry for not thwarting attack

An off-duty police officer in Melbourne apologized publicly for failing to help prevent an attack on an
Orthodox Jewish man.

Senior Constable Terry Moore in a statement read on his behalf at a news conference Wednesday said he regretted that he did not “immediately confront” the drunken passengers on the bus he was driving when they attacked Menachem Vorchheimer.

Vorchheimer, then 33, was walking home on Simchat Torah from synagogue with his two children on Oct.14, 2006 when he was racially vilified and, after he tried to stop the bus, was punched in the face.

“When confronted with a serious breach of the law, a police officer is never off duty,” Victorian Police Deputy Commissioner Simon Overland said.

Two men were fined, and another man was fined and convicted for what the magistrate described as behavior that was “criminal, hurtful, insensitive, ignorant and, at its base, racist and anti-Semitic.”

Vorchheimer took civil action against Moore and Victoria Police, which has been dropped.

In a statement,  Vorchheimer said he sought no compensation and had reached an “appropriate outcome that recognizes the important principle of removing racial and religious vilification from our community.”

As a result of the trauma of the incident, Vorchheimer, the son of Holocaust survivors, moved his family to New York, but has returned to Melbourne.

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