By COLlive reporter
A jury found James Vincent guilty on all charges of strangulation and assault as hate crimes for an unprovoked attack on a Jewish man in Crown Heights. The verdict was issued on Wednesday.
Vincent was on trial for the 17-count indictment in connection with a Shabbos afternoon attack on Crown Heights resident Menachem Moskowitz on April 21, 2018.
Moscowitz was walking home from synagogue at around 1 p.m. when prosecutors say he passed Vincent near Rutland Road and East 46th Street, who alleged yelled, “You [expletive] Jew, you Jews took my house and mortgage.”
Vincent rushed the older man from behind and squeezed Moscowitz’s neck, then punched him in the head and body and squeezed his arms around the man’s head. Two bystanders intervened as Vincent allegedly continued to yell anti-Semitic epithets. Then he ran off.
Prosecutors say surveillance video helped identify the suspect, who they also learned used a credit card bearing his name to buy ice cream at a store near the scene of the attack. He was arrested on April 27, 2018.
Moskowitz followed the proceedings virtually alongside community activist Yaacov Behrman and raised his hands in the air upon hearing the verdict.
“The street will be safer now,” Moskowitz commented to COLlive.com before going to Mincha-Maariv davening. He thanked Adriana Rodriguez and the District Attorney’s office, as well as the wide “support from the Crown Heights community and Klal Yisroel.”
Behrman said that for Moskowitz it was still recovering from the traumatic attack. “This is a very important development which would allow him to know focus on continuing to heal.”
Sentencing will be on December 13, 2021. Vincent can face up to 25 years in prison.