Brooklyn D.A. Says No Bias Crime Charges For Yitzchak Shuchat

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By John Marzulli / New York Daily News

yitzhak-shuchatYitzhak Shuchat will serve one day in jail and 25 days of community service for the 2008 attack on Andrew Charles in Crown Heights.

A Jewish man who was a member of a Hasidic civilian patrol in Brooklyn pleaded guilty Friday to assaulting a black man with a police baton in a plea deal that tossed out a controversial hate crime charge.

Yitzhak Shuchat will serve one day in jail and perform 25 days of community service as a penalty for the 2008 attack on Andrew Charles in Crown Heights.

Shuchat had fled to Israel after learning he was under investigation and indicted for assault as a hate crime by then-Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes. He served 70 days in an Israeli jail while awaiting extradition and was on house arrest in Israel before he was hauled back to the U.S. earlier this year.

“Today’s guilty plea is an appropriate disposition of this matter because the facts of the case simply did not support a hate crime and there were no serious injuries,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.

Shuchat, 31, a former member of the crime patrol Shmira, allegedly struck Charles on the arm with a nightstick. There was no allegation of anyone making racial epithets.

Defense lawyer Paul Batista said prosecutors never provided him with any evidence that would support the hate crime charge.

“I think justice was done,” Batista said, “and it avoids a trial that would be extremely unpleasant for the Crown Heights community in which there would have been racial overtones and there certainly was no racism on the part of my client.”

Charles, who was 20 at the time of the attack and the son of an NYPD cop, had told authorities he was first attacked by a white man on a bicycle who doused him with pepper spray. Then, Shuchat arrived on the scene in an SUV and whacked him with the baton.

jmarzulli@nydailynews.com

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New Details Revealed: Yaakov Prager Gives Shuchat Up

One Response to “Brooklyn D.A. Says No Bias Crime Charges For Yitzchak Shuchat”

  1. Brooklyn D.A. Says No Bias Crime Charges For Crown Heights Shmira Member Says:

    Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) had the highest praise for Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson following the announcement today of a resolution in the case of Yitzchok Shuchat.

    In 2008, Shuchat, a member of the Crown Heights Shmira patrol, responded to a call for help from a local female resident which led to a confrontation with another male. Shuchat was then accused of assault following the confrontation but saw the additional charge of bias crime added to his charges over a year later by former D.A. Charles Hynes after Shuchat left Brooklyn to reside in the State of Israel.

    Shuchat served four years of house arrest in Israel before agreeing to return to Brooklyn to face the charges against him. After taking office, D.A. Thompson reviewed the facts in Shuchat’s case and agreed that no bias crime had been committed and Shuchat pleaded guilty to felony assault.

    Assemblyman Hikind, who took an early interest in the case, stated all along that he feared the charge of bias was being used as a political tool.

    “Bias is a very serious crime,” said Hikind. “We want our police and our courts to pursue bias crimes with full vigor, but only when the charges are justified. No one should ever be accused of this if it is not true.

    “I am delighted that we have a man of Ken Thompson’s caliber as the Brooklyn District Attorney, pursuing justice, and happy that everyone involved in this case can now move forward with their lives.”

    (YWN Desk – NYC)

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