An assailant was sentenced on Monday to 11 years in prison for the 2018 attack on a rabbi who was walking home from a synagogue in Brooklyn, N.Y.

James Vincent, 44, was convicted following a jury trial in late October of strangulation and attempted second-degree assault as a hate crime, among other charges, for attacking Rabbi Menachem Moskowitz, 52, on April 21, 2018.

Vincent shouted anti-Semitic slurs as he punched and tried to strangle the victim, who was walking home in the East Flatbush neighborhood after praying at a synagogue. Even after two bystanders intervened, the defendant continued to yell epithets regarding Moskowitz’s religion as the victim picked up his yarmulke. Moskowitz suffered a black eye and fractured ribs from the attack.

Vincent fled from the scene but was arrested six days later. Police officers identified him from surveillance video footage that showed the attacker using a credit card to buy ice-cream in a nearby store before the assault.

“This was a frightening and unprovoked attack that left an innocent man terrorized. We will not tolerate bias-motivated crimes in Brooklyn, where we pride ourselves on the diversity of our neighbors,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement. “I hope that this sentence sends the message that my office will pursue and bring to justice those who target our community members with hate-fueled violence.”


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