Farrukh Afzal, 38, of Mariners Harbor, Staten Island, was arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice William Miller on a 17-count indictment in which he is charged with second-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, third-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree menacing as a hate crime and other related offenses, according to a Brooklyn District Attorney’s press release.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on October 14, at approximately 7:25 a.m., the defendant was driving a cab on 13th Avenue and 44th Street in Borough Park, Brooklyn.
“As he drove past a Hasidic man, the defendant allegedly swerved his car as if to hit him, causing the man to run away so he wouldn’t get struck,” he quotes in a press release.
Evidence further shows that the defendant then sped up and drove for another block and a half until he stopped to get out of his cab and ran towards another Hasidic man, 62, who was standing at the corner of 13th Avenue and 46th Street.
The defendant allegedly struck the victim, who ran, and chased him into the intersection, where he continued to beat and body-slam him, causing lacerations and bruising to his face and body.
According to a press release, the victim heard the defendant screaming in a foreign language with words that sounded like “Allah,” and after a third Hasidic man intervened and was chased by the defendant, the defendant was restrained and was heard screaming, “Israel, Israel.”
Afzal has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric exam and is to return to court on January 14, 2019; he will face up to seven years in prison if convicted of the top count.