New Square Arson Victim Seeks Fed Hate Probe


The chasidic man who was burned over half his body in an attack he believes is linked to politics in the Skverer enclave of New Square is seeking a federal investigation of the crime.

Attorney Michael Sussman said his client, Aron Rottenberg, 43 was targeted in the May 22 arson attack after months of harassment because he left the town’s main synagogue and incurred the wrath of the Grand Rabbi, David Twersky. The Associated Press said Sussman has written to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his New York counterpart, Eric Schneiderman, calling for the investigation of possible hate crimes.

Shaul Spitzer, 18, has been charged in the attack.

Hank Sheinkopf, a spokesman for Rabbi Twersky, told The Jewish Week Tuesday night that the rabbi has condemned the attack and worked to ensure it is not repeated.

“He has sent emissaries to every classroom on every level of education to point out that this behavior is impermissable and has never been tolerated.”

Rottenberg, who suffered third degree burns in the attack is still in a New York City hospital, the AP said.