BROOKLYN — The city charged a Brooklyn man with assault and harrassment after he allegedly attacked a Jewish man who was walking home from work Friday morning in Midwood — possibly in the latest incident of the violent street game “knockout” to take place in the heavily Orthodox enclave, officials said.
The unidentified victim, a 24-year-old man, heard the attackers, all in their 20s and 30s, goading each other into striking him as he passed the group, near 18th Avenue and East 5th Street about 2:45 a.m, sources said.
Amrit Marajh, 28, of Kensington, then allegedly punched him in the face, police said, after bragging to his friends that he could take the victim down with one hit, the NY Daily News reported.
Though police arrested Marajh on a litany of charges, including hate crimes, the district attorney's office pressed misdemeanor assault, harrassment and menacing charges, and Marajh was released on $750 bail.
Marajh was one of four men who appeared to be intoxicated that were taken into custody and questioned on Friday night at the 66th precinct station, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said in a conference. The men had just left a bar on McDonald Avenue Friday morning and were discussing boxing when the knockout game came up, the News wrote, and Marajh tried to demonstrate that he could knock someone out.
The attack was suspected by police to be the latest in a string of assaults connected with the “knockout” game phenomenon reported around the country, Kelly said.
"I didn't knock out no Jew!" Marajh yelled to press as he was escorted from the 66th Precinct in Brooklyn after hours of questioning.
The victim, who apparently wasn't knocked out in one blow, fled after the attack and notified local Shomrim neighborhood patrol, which in turn notified the police.
The incident represents the third such attack on a Jewish person in the Midwood area, and the seventh in the borough, in the last month, according to Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield, who represents the area of the attack.
As with similar 'knockout' assaults, there was no reported attempt to rob the victim.
“I am sickened to hear of yet another cowardly attack on an innocent person who was just trying to get home after work,” Greenfield said. “It is now time for the NYPD and District Attorney to throw the book at these thugs and make it clear that our city will not tolerate this type of behavior, especially when people are being targeted because of their race or religion.”
Greenfield said he will ask prosecutors to pursue bias attack charges against the alleged assailants.