FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Man Convicted of Strangulation and Assault as Hate Crimes for
Attack on Jewish Man Who was Walking from Synagogue
Shouted Anti-Semitic Slurs Before and After Assault
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a man has been convicted of charges of strangulation and assault as hate crimes and other offenses for the unprovoked attack against a Jewish man, whom he cursed and strangled as the victim was walking home from a synagogue.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Today’s verdict speaks to Brooklyn’s resolve to combatting and rooting out hate from our communities. The defendant has been brought to justice for this senseless, disturbing and hateful crime against a man simply walking home from his synagogue. Brooklyn’s strength is in its diversity and I remain committed to vigorously prosecuting bias-motivated violence.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as James Vincent, 44. He was convicted yesterday of attempted first-degree strangulation as a hate crime, second-degree strangulation as a hate crime, attempted second-degree assault as a hate crime, third-degree assault as a hate crime, and fourth-degree criminal mischief following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Donald Leo. The defendant faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on December 13, 2021.
The District Attorney said that, according to the evidence, on April 21, 2018, at approximately 1 p.m., the victim, a 52-year-old Jewish man, was walking home from his synagogue after Sabbath prayers. He walked past the defendant in the vicinity of Rutland Road and East 46th Street in East Flatbush, when the defendant allegedly yelled, “You #$%& Jew, you Jews took my house and mortgage.” The victim continued walking.
The defendant then ran up to the victim from behind, placed his hands on his neck and applied pressure, according to the evidence. He then punched the victim in the head and body, put his arms around the victim’s head and applied pressure. Two bystanders intervened and the defendant continued to yell epithets regarding the victim’s religion as the victim picked up his yarmulke and kippah. The defendant then fled.
The victim suffered various injuries to the head and body.
Several surveillance videos from the area helped to identify the defendant and the investigation revealed that he purchased ice cream in a nearby store using a card bearing his name. He was arrested on April 27, 2018.
The case was investigated by now retired Detective Kenneth O’Donnell, of the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force, under the supervision of Sergeant Charles A. Senat.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Adriana Rodriguez, of the District Attorney’s Hate Crimes Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Kelli M. Muse, Chief of the Hate Crimes Bureau.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.