Belgian Family Visiting for Pesach Stabbed in Battery Park Today
By Yehudit Garmaise
Today at 5:30pm, a Boro Park man and his friend from Israel were taking a Chol Hamoed walk in Manhattan, which is quite empty right now, and had gotten in their car to drive home, when they noticed a Jewish man who was standing in front of an ambulance in Battery Park as if something terrible had happened.
“My friend said, ‘I think I see something suspicious,’” said the Boro Park man. “We saw an ambulance and a Jewish guy from our community standing outside in front of it, so we stopped by to see what happened, and we came over to try to help in whatever we could."
After asking the man, who was approximately 24 years old, and whose forehead was bleeding, whether he had a way home, the Yid, who was visiting from Belgium for Pesach with his wife and one-year-old daughter, who were nearby, had just been stabbed by an African-American man who had just come up to them with a knife in his hand.
The Belgian Yid reported that he, his wife, and baby were sitting on a bench looking at the water when the attacker, who was ranting, although he did not say anything anti-Semitic, suddenly appeared and started stabbing the mother and then the baby, who was in a carriage.
“The mother started yelling,” the Boro Park witness said. ”I don’t know what she said, but other witnesses said that the say the noise was crazy out of this world.”
After the mother's high-pitched screams initially scared the stabber, he tried to stab the baby and cut her chin a little bit before the father pushed the attacker away. However, the attacker came back to stab the father, who later needed 12 stitches.
At this point, the mother took her daughter out of the carriage and ran away, while the Belgian Yid fought off his attacker in such a brave way, that the Boro Park witness said that police officers were shocked when they saw a video of the attack: a video that the Battery Park Administration now has, and the NYPD cannot release.
Somehow, perhaps by stepping on the knife, the Belgian Yid was able to bend the knife so that it could no longer be used as a weapon.
“He is a hero that young guy,” said the Boro Park witness. “He fought off the thug.”
The NYPD was soon on the scene, but because the Belgian Yid only spoke Yiddish, a Shomrim dispatcher translated his report of the attack over the phone with police.
After the NYPD had gathered the necessary information from the Belgian family, the Boro Park man and his friend took them to an urgent care facility in Boro Park for treatment. The mother had a three-inch cut on her face and the baby had an little cut on her chin, but, thankfully, they did not need any stitches.
“I want people to know about this,” the Boro Park man said. “People should know that they have to be on the watch because Manhattan is a place that is now empty and there are a lot of thugs there.
"People should know to watch out if they see anyone who makes eye contact with them, or if they see anyone who looks a little bit odd. We should know to walk away and stand away from anyone who looks suspicious.
“And the second you feel something, go over and just don’t be scared, fight him off, don’t let yourself get stabbed, once, twice, because the third time you won’t be able to do anything then."
What did the Belgian Yid say after his horrible experience in Battery Park?
“He was very thankful to G-d,” the Boro Park witness said. “He was very emotional that everything was OK. It was a very scary few minutes for them.”
The New York Post reported that the assailant was a 30-year-old parolee, who was released from jail last month, was arrested in the assault, and that police recovered the knife after canvassing the area.
The assailant had spent several years in prison after pleading guilty to an attempted murder in a violent robbery that took place in August 2011 on the Upper East Side.