New York man, 27, convicted of assaulting Brooklyn Jewish Y chief, acquitted on hate crimes charge


(JTA) — A New York man was convicted of assaulting the head of the Brooklyn Jewish Y at a basketball game but acquitted on hate crimes charges.

Shawn Schraeder, 27, of Queens, was convicted on Wednesday of assault, menacing and endangering the welfare of a child.

He punched Leonard Petlakh, the executive director of the Kings Bay Y, in the face following an exhibition game in October 2014  at the Barclays Center between the Brooklyn Nets and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv. Petlakh was there with his two sons, ages 10 and 14.

In acquitting Schrader of the hate crimes charges, the jury agreed with Schraeder’s attorney that whoever punched Petlakh could not have known whether he was Jewish or Israeli, the New York Daily News reported.

Schrader will be sentenced on Nov. 7 and faces up to a year in prison. He says he will appeal the verdict, the Daily News reported.

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

As the crowds spilled out of the arena and onto the street, one of the protesters took a swing at Petlakh. The Y executive’s nose was broken and he required eight stitches. The pro-Palestinian demonstrators reportedly chanted “Free Palestine” and “Your people are murderers” during the assault.

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