Knockout Attack "Victim" Admits He May Have Just Tripped; Threatens to Sue Anyway
On Tuesday reports of another sudden, unprovoked attack surfaced in Brooklyn. This time the victim was a 65-year-old Hasidic grandfather from London, visiting New York for a wedding. The man was leaving the reception at Borough Park's Palace Ballroom around 2 a.m. on Tuesday morning when, he would later tell police, he was attacked from behind and sent flying to the ground, face first.
whita via Flicker Borough Park street corner.
He suffered a bloody lip and chipped tooth, according to the Post. Almost immediately Brooklyn City Council Member David Greenfield voiced his concern that this could be another in a series of "knockout" attacks that have plagued Brooklyn's Jewish communities in recent months.
"He was attacked from behind by two individuals -- brutally attacked," Greenfield told CBS on Tuesday. "They did not take anything from him, and he was in such bad condition that he had to be hospitalized."
Greenfield went on: "I think that this should concern all of us. Right? I mean, this is a tourist--someone who came to visit the United States to celebrate his family at a wedding and I think that the potential of sending a message internationally that we have these kinds of attacks taking place in New York City should certainly concern all of us."
As Greenfield predicted, news of the attack did reverberate internationally: on Wednesday, the story was picked up by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. The story repeats Greenfield's quote, given to CBS, that the tourist was "brutally attacked" by two assailants, and notes that in November the NYPD investigated a "wave of suspected 'knockout' attacks against Jews in Brooklyn." (The story doesn't mention that after its investigation the NYPD concluded there was not a "knockout" trend.)
See also: There is No "Knockout" Trend, NYPD Says
The story grew more complicated late Wednesday, when Jewish Political News and Updates, the website that initially reported the attack, reported that the NYPD was now saying the tourist had recanted. "The victim may just have fallen and banged his face in the concrete pavement."
An NYPD spokesman confirmed that the man changed his story when confronted by footage of the incident. "Video surveillance of the incident showed that he tripped," Detective Brian Sessa told to the Voice. "He recanted after he was shown the video surveillance."