Four Ultra-Orthodox Jews Arrested for Attacking Gay Man in Brooklyn

Four Hasidic Jews have been arrested for attacking a 22-year-old gay man in Williamsburg last December.

The New York Daily News reports that two of the four suspects had fled to Israel. All four are expected to be arraigned on Wednesday, and more suspects will likely be arrested in the coming days.

Early December 1, Taj Patterson was attacked as he walked home from a party in Williamsburg. Patterson said he was jumped by about 20 Hasidic men, who allegedly yelled anti-gay slurs—"Stay down, faggot!"—as they beat him.

"I'm walking down some block by myself and then the next thing I know, I'm surrounded by a group of Hasidic Jewish men and they're attacking me," Patterson told Gothamist in December. "I was alone. I was an easy target. I'm black. I'm gay, a whole slew of reasons."

Based on witnesses' accounts of their clothes, the assailants may have belonged to Williamsburg Shomrim, a Hasidic neighborhood watch group.

After the attack Patterson was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for a broken eye socket, a torn retina, and blood clotting.

UPDATE 4:25 pm: From the New York Daily News:

Aharon Hollender, 28, Abraham Winkler, 39, Mayer Herskovic, 21, and Joseph Fried, 25, were charged with gang assault and other counts, but not with any hate crimes, sources said Wednesday.

"I would point out that the department, from the very beginning, very aggressively investigated that crime as a very serious crime with incredibly serious injuries caused to the victim," said Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.


[Image via Gothamist]