Danial Shaukat, 20, of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States has been arrested by the New York City Police Department. The Palestinian-American man was charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime.
Right before Shaukat’s alleged crimes, the Israel-Palestine crisis, which started on May 6, 2021, killed more than 200 people. Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire on May 21, 2021.
At around 7:00 p.m. on May 22, 2021, Shaukat and his accomplices Haider A. Anjam, 20, and Ashan Azad, 19, were in a blue Toyota Camry, which they parked in front of Agudath Israel Synagogue in Borough Park in New York City, Eyewitness News reported. They allegedly yelled at four men standing outside the synagogue, “Free Palestine! Kill all Jews!”
Two of the three harassers got out of the Toyota Camry and banged on the synagogue’s front door. Unable to get inside, they kicked and destroyed the side mirror of a car parked nearby on their way back to their car.
At around 7:45 p.m. that evening, Shaukat and Anjam approached two male Jewish teenagers, who were cousins, on Ocean Parkway in Kensington, Brooklyn and demanded them to say, “Free Palestine.” Shaukat allegedly sucker-punched one of the teenagers in the back of the head before.
With a cricket bat, Anjam chased the two teenagers. The victims were able to escape with the help of a Muslim Uber driver.
The victims are Mitchel Schwartz‘s son and nephew. Schwartz told VIN News that the Uber driver told his son and his nephew to “jump in literally like they were in Beirut or Gaza and not 18th Avenue and Ocean Parkway, the heart of the Jewish community.”
On May 25, 2021, Shaukat was arrested. While outside the Borough Park precinct station house in Borough Park after his arrest, he said, “I’m sorry.”
On May 26, 2021, Shaukat was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court and released on $2,000 bail. On the same day, Azad and Anjam were arrested and charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime and harassment.
Anjam was also charged with menacing as a hate crime. The NYPD has yet to release Shaukat, Anjam and Azad’s mugshots.
“People are literally afraid to walk the streets,” New York State Assembly member Simcha Eichenstein told the New York Post. “This Shabbos, I’ve had people tell me I never believed I’d hear this in my lifetime. I’m afraid to walk the streets. I’m afraid to let my children walk the streets of Borough Park.”