Farrukh Afzal- a Brooklyn livery driver is caught on surveillance footage viciously beating Borough Park, Brooklyn, Orthodox Jewish man, Lipa Schwartz.
A Brooklyn livery driver has been filmed viciously beating an Orthodox Jewish in the early morning hours of Sunday morning in an apparent road rage incident. While others wondered if the assault may have been predicated as a hate crime.
ABC7 Eyewitness News reported Farrukh Afzal, 37, driving along 46th Street and 13th Avenue in Borough Park around 7:30 a.m. when he suddenly stops, jumped out of his vehicle and started pummeling Lipa Schwartz, 62, who was wearing traditional Hasidic attire as the man made his way to a local synagogue.
Surveillance footage (see below) shows Afzal repeatedly punching his victim from behind in the head.
Told Schwartz via BoroPark24, ‘I feared for my life. I knew it was either fight my way out of this or I might be dead.’
Schwartz said he thought the driver ‘seemed to want revenge,’ although he didn’t say for what.
I’m horrified by this unprovoked vicious assault on an elderly member of our community. Justice needs to be served swiftly and fully. Thank you @BPShomrim and @NYPD66Pct for the quick response. pic.twitter.com/ET9ReklotR
— Barry Spitzer (@bspitzer) October 14, 2018
Farrukh Afzal lawyer insists his client feared for his life:
Afzal’s lawyer claimed his client retaliating after Schwartz allegedly punching his vehicle’s window as he was crossing the street and that it was in fact Afzal who feared for his life.
Afzal, who locals said drives for a car service, is not licensed by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission and has been summonsed in the past for being an unlicensed operator according to a TLC spokeswoman.
Prosecutors say the incident began as Schwartz was crossing an intersection. Afzal honked at him as he thought the man was going too slowly. This led to the two men yelling at each other and Schwartz allegedly punching the car’s window- with Afzal getting out and allegedly assaulting the Hasidic man.
A shoe store employee who witnessed the attack and declined to give his name told New York Daily News that it seemed to be an attack on the Jewish community.
The worker said: ‘He was screaming at him that he hates the Jews and he would like to kill all the Jews.’
Afzal, of Staten Island, originally was arrested on charges that included assault as a hate crime.
But at his arraignment late Sunday, the incident was not treated as such, with the nypost reported the livery driver being charged with attempted assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, menacing and harassment and held in lieu of $15,000 bail.
Cops said Afzal has eight prior arrests.
Un taxista en NY, Farrukh Afzal, fue acusado d crimen d odio por golpear a un judío d 62 años en Brooklyn, este domingo. Lipa Schwartz caminaba hacia una sinagoga cuando fue atacado. El atacante hablaba árabe y las palabras q la víctima entendió fueron “Allah” e “Israel”. pic.twitter.com/yP497axZdp
— Laila Yoret (@LailaYoret) October 15, 2018