A New York City resident was arraigned on Sept. 15 before a Queens Criminal Court judge for allegedly attacking and shouting anti-Semitic remarks at a Jewish man in the Far Rockaway neighborhood two days earlier..

James Purcell, 34, from Far Rockaway in Queens, was charged with assault as a hate crime in the third degree, assault in the third degree, obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, resisting arrest, aggravated harassment in the second degree and harassment in the second degree, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced. If convicted, he faces up to four years in prison.

On Sept. 13, Purcell approached a 58-year-old Jewish man as he was walking near the intersection of Beach 25th Street and Beach Channel Drive and shouted anti-Semitic remarks at him including, “Shut up Jew, I’ll make you shut up,” according to the criminal charges.

Purcell then allegedly punched the victim in the face and continued to physically assault him while shouting more hateful remarks, Katz said. Police officers arrived and attempted to take Purcell into custody after the victim identified him. Purcell allegedly tried to avoid being arrested by flailing his arms and twisting his body.

“We will not tolerate assault motivated by hate in the most diverse county in the world,” Katz said. “These acts are offenses against our shared values and our shared right to safety and peace in our neighborhoods. This defendant is charged appropriately and will be held to account.”

The Hate Crimes Bureau in the District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case.


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