A black firefighter in New York City called "n-----" before being hit with a car door by a Hasidic man, New York Daily News reported on Friday, citing the city police officials. While the perpetrator faced several charges, he was not charged with hate crime as his actions were not motivated by racism, the report added.
The incident happened last Sunday when Jacob Deutsch parked his car at a spot reserved for New York City's fire department. After the firefighters threatened him with summons, he removed his vehicle and parked it outside the firehouse doors, NY Daily News reported. This, in turn, blocked a fire truck that had to be washed.
Deutsch was again confronted by the firefighters, after which he reportedly said: "Hey a------, don't write a ticket!" The 55-year-old man also threatened them to "go to war." "If you want to go to war we can go to war!" Deutsch said, according to court papers, NY Daily News reported. "I can have 300 Hasidic men on the block in an hour!"
Before finally exiting, Deutsch reportedly slapped a firefighter's arm and hit his leg with the car's door. The firefighter has reportedly sustained knee, hamstring and thigh injuries. Later, Deutsch abandoned his car after driving down the street and went inside a community centre. Police identified him from his license plate and on Thursday, he surrendered with his lawyer at Brooklyn police precinct. He faced charges related to assault, menacing, obstructing government administration, leaving the scene of an accident, the report added.
However, he was not charged with hate crime for the N-word, because the incident was not racially motivated, a police source told NY Daily News. His bond was set for $35,000. According to Deutch's wife, the firefighters acted "very, very immature" and blamed them for fueling the argument. "They grew up to be what they wanted but they did not grow up in maturity. They do whatever they like," she reportedly said, adding, "They have the upper hand, but they are human just like us."
The incident comes at a time when the nation is gripped with Black Lives Matter protests. There have been scattered incidents of racial hatred against the members of black and Hispanic community in the country.
Recently, a viral video of a white woman showed her calling a black man "creep" while he was taking pictures of her neighbour's house with a drone camera as a part of a work assignment in Seattle.
"She came out of her house cussing and immediately assumed the worst of me and what I was doing because there's no way a black man could actually be working and minding his own business," Thomas Samuel noted his Facebook video. He said he explained the woman he was taking the pictures of the house for Redfin, a real estate brokerage company that was involved in sale of a house in the locality.
In another widely shared video, a white woman in Los Angeles stopped a black man who was delivering food from entering her apartment building because she assumed he was there to do something wrong.