The accused were shouting racial and anti-gay epithets as they severely beat Patterson sending him to the hospital . The men responsible for the attack have been identified as; 19 year old Pinchas Braver, 22 year old Mayer Herskovic, 40 year old Abraham Winkler, 26 year old Joseph Fried and 29 year old Aharon Hollander. It is has been rumored that many more Satmar hasidim – allegedly including more senior Shomrim members – were allegedly involved in the assualt but have not been arrested.
Joseph Fried, is already under indictment for illegally taking photos of the teenage victim of Satmar pedophile Nechemya Weberman as she testified against Weberman in a Brooklyn court. The photos were then tweeted and emailed to newpapers and blogs from the courtroom in an attempt to intimidate the underage victim. Pinchas Braver was allegedly involved with a carjacking in Rockland County in 2012.
The attack had happened in December but despite many eyewitnesses, including a city bus driver, his passengers, and photographs taken of the assailants during the attack, the NYPD had not made arrests. That all changed with the arrests and indictments that went down on Wednesday. All five defendants pleaded not guilty and have been released on bail.
The neighborhood watch group was quick to respond to the arrests. A spokesman for the patrol, Joseph Pollack, said in a statement that “reports that all five defendants indicted today are members of our organization are not true, and the acts alleged in these indictments are contrary to our mission and our membership.” He did not say whether any of those arrested were members.
The Police Department’s hate crimes unit had been investigating the attack. “It was a very serious crime with incredibly serious injuries caused to the victim,” Commissioner William J. Bratton said on Wednesday before Pinchas Braver the last of the suspects had been arrested. “We initially looked at it as a potential hate crime.” However, at this point it, the charges against the five are apparently only assault charges and not hate crimes. Letitia James, the public advocate, commended “our communities for remaining united in the face of violence.” The tension between jewish and black residents in Brooklyn is well documented, although there had been a significant reduction in reported violent incidents in recent years.
NYPD’s commissioner, Bill Bratton, claimed the NYPD had “aggressively” investigated the crime even though evidence appears to show that is false. Former police commissioner, Ray Kelly, whose term ended at the end of December, had refused to act against the hasidic assailants or pursue the case despite the clear evidence against them. Kelly wants to run for higher office and, sources say, expects the support of the Satmar hasidic community when he does.
The fact that Kenneth P. Thompson, the Brooklyn district attorney, did not charge any of the men with hate crimes is a possible indication that no witnesses could be located who heard the alleged bias comments during the attack. If convicted, they each face as much a 25 years in prison.