Corona teen charged with hate crime in Flushing Meadows Corona Park attack last month: DA

Flushing Meadows Corona Park
A Corona teen was arraigned on hate crime charges for an attack on a Jewish man in Flushing Meadows Corona Park last month, according to the Queens DA’s office. (QNS file photo)

A young Corona man was criminally charged with assault as a hate crime for an attack on a Jewish man in Flushing Meadows Corona Park last month, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.

The 16-year-old, from 104th Street, was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Bruna Dibiase March 24 on a 17-count complaint charging him with assault as a hate crime and several robbery counts and other crimes for the assault during which the defendant is accused of yelling antisemitic slurs while he and others kicked and robbed the victim after knocking him to the ground, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

On Sunday, Feb. 19, Sam Levy, 48, was walking through the park on his evening constitutional at around 8:25 p.m. He was walking on the bridge over the Grand Central Parkway to the western side of Flushing Meadows Corona Park when he saw the defendant and at least five others at the end of the bridge. The defendant and one of the others separated from the group and positioned themselves at opposite ends of the roundabout, forcing Levy to have to pass either one of them to exit, according to the charges.

As Levy continued walking, he sensed someone run toward him from behind. He turned and observed the defendant running toward him. Levy ran, but the defendant caught up to him and struck him in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground. The defendant and the approximately five others gathered around the prone Levy. According to the charges, the defendant then kicked Levy on the left side of his face, breaking his glasses and causing bruising and swelling to his left eye. As Levy attempted to get to his feet, he was dragged back down by the defendant and others who continued to kick him about the head, face, torso, and legs and then demanded money. Levy reached into his pocket and took out approximately $200 and his wallet, which contained his identification and credit cards, and tossed them toward the defendant.

While some of the perpetrators continued kicking Levy, others collected the money and wallet and took his cell phone and his house and car keys from his pants pocket. The defendant continued kicking Levy and yelled out, “___ Jew.” The group continued kicking Levy and then fled the location, according to the charges.

Levy was transported to Elmhurst Hospital. As a result of the attack, he sustained bruised ribs, bruising and swelling to his left eye and experienced substantial pain in his torso, back and head.

According to the complaint against the defendant, security camera video footage from a Burger King near the park shows the defendant, two other males and a female approximately three hours after the attack at a kiosk using what appear to be credit or bank cards. It has been determined that the cards belonged to Levy.

“We respect the diversity of our Borough and affronts to that, especially violent ones, will not be tolerated,” Katz said. “The defendant is being charged with not only the robbery but for the assault as a hate crime for this cowardly alleged antisemitic attack.”

Judge Dibiase ordered the defendant to return to court on March 29.