An American Secret Service agent was detained by Israeli police and sent back to the U.S. after assaulting a woman outside of a Jerusalem pub on July 12. Victim Tamar Ben-Haim is now suing.
The off-duty agent was reportedly in town preparing for President Joe Biden’s visit the following day.
According to the lawsuit, the assailant, who was intoxicated, “held Tamar tightly, hit her on her chest, repeatedly, slapped her, causing her earring and earphone to fall to the ground.”
Ben-Haim thought these were her “last moments on Earth.”
Interviewed by Fox News shortly after the attack, she said that a “large man” punched her “over and over” like a “punching bag.”
“I was in total shock. He was so strong … I couldn’t even attempt to defend myself. In my head, I was thinking, ‘You won’t survive this. This is the end of your life,’” she said.
The attack reportedly occurred in an alleyway at approximately 1 a.m. Ben-Haim screamed for help, and finally a man who had been accompanying the agent pulled him away.
Ben-Haim reported the incident to police. The man was detained by local authorities but released without charge and sent on a flight back to the U.S.
“The employee has returned to the United States,” the Secret Service told CBS News shortly after the attack. “In accordance with agency protocol, his access to Secret Service systems and facilities was suspended pending further investigation.”
“We hold all employees to the highest professional standards, and you are seeing the results of our strong culture of accountability,” U.S. Secret Service Chief of Communications Anthony Guglielmi told the station, adding that the agents have mandatory annual “integrity training” and are taught about proper conduct before missions abroad.
According to the lawsuit, Ben-Haim was traumatized by the incident and now has trouble sleeping, along with anxiety, depression, headaches and difficulty breathing. She regularly sees both a psychologist and a psychiatrist to help her cope, she claims.
Ben Haim’s attorney Marc Zell argued that the Secret Service is protecting her assailant, the New York Post reported.
“Defendant — as well as defendant’s employer — is attempting to evade justice by refusing to disclose his identity,” the suit charges.
Ben-Haim said she has filed a request for the attacker’s identity to be revealed under the Freedom of Information Act, which the Secret Service has denied, the Post reported, adding that she has an appeal pending.
“This is not someone from a Third World country. America is the example of the world, and he works for the president,” Ben-Haim told Fox. “They just shipped him back to where he came like nothing ever happened, and they expect me to just move on with my life.”