NEW YORK (JTA) — A 23-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested for assaulting an Orthodox Jewish couple in Manhattan this summer.
A New York Police Department spokesman confirmed to JTA that Mustafa Mashni was charged with assault, as first reported on the Jpupdates website.
The victims, in their 20s, were walking on the Upper East Side at approximately 8 p.m. Aug. 25 when several vehicles, including a motorcycle adorned with Palestinian flags, pulled up to them. The occupants yelled several anti-Semitic slurs, threw a bottle of water at the woman and punched the man in the head. Police believe he was targeted because he was wearing a kipah.
According to Jpupdates, Mashni told detectives with the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force that he had wanted to stop the confrontation when he approached the Jewish male but accidentally hit him in in the face.
Mashni had been arrested three times previously by New York Police, Jpupdates reported.
The Upper East Side is an affluent neighborhood with a large Jewish population.