NYS Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) says he’s baffled by the handling of Farrukh Afzal, the 37-year-old who attacked two Orthodox Jews on Sunday. While the police initially charged Afzal with a Hate Crime, that charge was dropped and the attacker was granted an outrageously light bail despite being what Hikind describes as a danger to everyone.
“The attacker could have killed 62-year-old Lipa Schwartz, who he savagely beat for no reason,” says Hikind. “What if Mr. Schwartz hit his head on the road when he was knocked down and pummeled? The only thing that stopped the beating was the interference of a second man who was then, in turn, attacked. And now we have a witness who I personally know who says Afzal tried to hit him with a car just moments before he attacked Schwartz. Is this someone who should be walking around? Are we waiting for him to attack more people?
“The DA asked for a bail of $35,000. Why would the judge set it at only $15,000?
This indicates a lack of seriousness about the severity of the attacks. And prior to that, the circulation of stories that the victim was somehow culpable—that Mr. Schwartz did something to initiate the altercation and insight ‘road rage’—raises questions about some trying to downplay what surveillance footage clearly reflects. Afzal is dangerous!
“I have three constituents who are lucky to be alive. They want to know that this series of attacks is being taken seriously. And my community wants to know that a message will be sent to anyone else who wants to attack innocent people in our community. Regardless of the attacker’s motives, he should not be walking the streets!”