Man charged with hate crimes after allegedly attempting to run down men outside Flatbush yeshiva

man trying to run people down in flatbush
A man was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly tried to run down three men outside a Flatbush yeshiva.
Screenshot courtesy of Flatbush Shomrim

A man was arrested and charged with multiple hate crimes on Wednesday after he allegedly attacked a group of men outside a private Jewish school in East Flatbush.

Cops said the suspect, 58-year-old Ashgar Ali of Midwood, yelled antisemitic remarks from his white Crown Ford Victoria as he turned from Glenwood Road onto East 55th Street outside the Mesivta Nachlas Yakov Vien school at around 11:30 a.m. on May 29. Ali then allegedly swerved into the sidewalk and tried to hit three men — a 41-year-old, 44-year-old, and 18-year-old — outside the school building. 

In video of the incident posted online by Flatbush Shomrim, the attacker appears to chase the men — driving over the sidewalk, onto the school’s lawn, and across the paved pathway to the front door as one of the victims runs to the side of the building. According to the New York Post, Ali also threatened a large group of students on the other side of the building.

flatbush hate crime
Video showed the man threatening a group of students on the other side of the building. Screenshot courtesy of Flatbush Shomrim

No injuries were reported as a result of the incident, according to the NYPD. After an initial investigation, Ali was arrested on Wednesday afternoon and hit with a dozen charges, including attempted murder as a hate crime, attempted assault as a hate crime, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment. The top charge, attempted murder, carries with it a prison sentence of up to 25 years if convicted.

On social media, Gov. Kathy Hochul said New York State Police were “closely coordinating” with the NYPD in the ongoing investigation of the incident. 

“We are thankful that this individual is in police custody,” Hochul wrote. “Hate crimes have no place in New York and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Antisemitic hate crimes have been on the rise in New York City since last fall, after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. As of April 30, a total of 111 antisemitic incidents had been reported, according to the NYPD, up nearly 50% from 75 incidents during the same period last year.

In Brooklyn, those attacks have included the vandalism of two menorahs in Sunset Park, the attempted arson of a restaurant in Williamsburg, and an antisemitic symbol left outside a Midwood home. Earlier this month, two young boys — both wearing yarmulkes — were attacked while playing outside their home in Bed-Stuy. 

Overall hate crimes are up 200% in the 63rd Precinct, where Wednesday’s incident occurred, with three incidents reported as of May 26 compared to just one last year, though the details on the victims of those attacks are not yet available.