Assault on Jewish leader in Brooklyn not a hate crime, police say


(JTA) — The man suspected of assaulting the head of a Brooklyn Jewish Y will not be charged with a hate crime.

Shawn Schraeder, 25, of the Queens borough of New York City, was apprehended late last week in St. Louis and returned to Brooklyn, where he is awaiting arraignment, ABC News reported.

Schraeder is accused of punching Leonard Petlakh, the executive director of the Kings Bay Y, but he is not being charged with a hate crime because police no longer think bias was involved, according to ABC.

Petlakh was attacked following an exhibition basketball game Oct. 7 between the Brooklyn Nets and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Fans verbally sparred inside the arena as the game was ending when pro-Palestinian protesters began shouting slogans and a pro-Israel fan grabbed a Palestinian flag from one of them, Petlakh told JTA at the time of the incident.

As the crowds spilled out of the arena and onto the street, he said, one of the protesters took a swing at Petlakh, who was with his 14- and 10-year-old sons. His nose was broken and he required eight stitches.

New York State Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz said he found it “disturbing” that there would be no bias crime charge in what he called a “brutal attack.”

“Given the anti-Semitic nature of this attack, I urge authorities to reconsider this decision,” Cymbrowitz said in a statement. “I will be calling on the district attorney to treat this as a bias case and seek the harshest penalties that are allowed under the law.”


Recommended from JTA