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Video: Suspect tries to run over pedestrians in alleged antisemitic attack

NYPD. (Bernhard Richter/Dreamstime/TNS)
May 31, 2024

A New York man has been arrested and charged with multiple violent crimes, along with hate crime enhancements, for attempting to run over multiple pedestrians with his car while shouting antisemitic comments.

The New York Police Department confirmed with American Military News that it arrested 58-year-old Asghar Ali on Wednesday following reports that a suspect had driven onto a sidewalk on Glenwood Road and turned East on 55th Street while attempting to strike multiple pedestrians.

The Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol, a Jewish community neighborhood watch group, shared footage appearing to show the attack from multiple angles.

Throughout the footage, a white Ford Crown Victoria was seen driving up along a sidewalk and swerving around on the street as several individuals ran out of the way. 

An NYPD spokesperson confirmed that Ali was indeed arrested driving a 2011 white Crown Victoria. The NYPD spokesperson also confirmed that five people, including a 41-year-old male, a 44-year-old male, and three 18-year-old males, were nearly struck during the incident.

The NYPD spokesperson reported no injuries despite the suspect’s aggressive driving.

Fox 5 New York reported that witnesses at the scene alleged the suspect shouted antisemitic slurs, including, “I’m going to kill all the Jews.”

The NYPD spokesperson said Ali has since been charged with:

  • One count of second-degree attempted murder with a hate crime enhancement
  • One count of attempted assault with intent to cause serious physical injury as a hate crime
  • One count of third-degree attempted assault with intent to cause serious physical injury 
  • One count of attempted assault with intent to cause physical injury as a hate crime
  • A count of first-degree attempted vehicular assault
  • A count of third-degree attempted assault with intent to cause physical injury
  • A count of third-degree menacing as a hate crime
  • Another count of third-degree menacing
  • Reckless Driving
  • Four counts of second-degree reckless endangerment as a hate crime
  • Four more counts of second-degree reckless engagement
  • Five counts of second-degree aggravated harassment

Fox 5 New York reported police sources had identified Ali as a Pakistani immigrant to the United States.

READ MORE: Jewish kids told to hide identity in UK as antisemitic incidents skyrocket: Report

The incident comes amid heightened tensions among Jewish and Muslim communities during the ongoing Israeli military campaign in Gaza against Hamas.

There have been multiple violent instances of reported harassment and violent clashes between Jewish and Israeli individuals and pro-Palestinian activists at college campuses in New York and across the United States in recent weeks.

Paul Kessler, a 69-year-old Jewish man, was knocked to the ground and suffered a fatal head injury in November following an altercation that took place during dueling pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protests in Thousand Oaks, California. 

Loay Alnaji, a pro-Palestinian protester who alerted police to Kessler’s injury and acknowledged his involvement in the altercation, faces involuntary manslaughter and battery charges in connection with Kessler’s death. The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting the case, said antisemitic speech was heard at the dueling protests but that they have found no evidence indicating Alnaji uttered such comments or any other indications that he could be charged with a hate crime.

71-year-old Plainfield, Illinois man Joseph Czuba is accused of wounding 32-year-old Palestinian-American woman Hanan Sheehen and killing her six-year-old son, Wadea al-Fayoume, in an Oct. 14 stabbing attack, just days after the current Israel-Hamas conflict began. Czuba faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of a hate crime, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.