Police: Times Square attack on Jewish man from LI being investigated as hate crime

The victim’s father, Barry Borgen, says Joseph had a concussion and was bruised up.

News 12 Staff

May 21, 2021, 9:35 PM

Updated 1,060 days ago

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A Long Island Jewish man was beaten in Times Square during a pro-Palestinian protest Thursday.
Joseph Borgen, 29, was attacked by a group of men when he was walking from the subway to a pro-Israel rally.
Police say around half a dozen men kicked and pepper sprayed Borgen while making antisemitic statements.
The victim’s father, Barry Borgen, says Joseph had a concussion and was bruised up. “Could have been a lot worse,” Barry says.
Residents in the Borgens’ hometown of Lawrence, like Zak Cohen, says people are being beaten for expressing their religious views. “Jews are getting beat up just for being Jewish,” Cohen says. “And just expressing their rights.”
Oyster Bay Receiver of Taxes Jeff Pravato was also in the city Thursday night and says things got scary for him and his family. Pravato says while he was driving home with his family they were confronted by a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators.
Pravato, who is Jewish, says the group surrounded his car and when he said the words "Israel Forever" the group became violent. "They started throwing stuff at us, spitting at us."
Pravato says the group also punched and kicked his car while his 13 and 15-year-old were in the back seat. Thankfully they were not hurt.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran says there is zero tolerance for hate crimes of any kind in Nassau County. “And we take a very strong stance on antisemitism and all other kinds of hate,” Curran says.
Police say Joseph is in stable condition.
Police say a 23-year-old man was taken into custody in connection to the event.
The attack is being investigated as a hate crime.


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