Williamsburg Safety Patrol Unit under fire

Prosecutor: Men arrested for attack on gay man are W’burg Shomrim

The Brooklyn Paper
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Police arrested four of five ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who prosecutors say are members of a volunteer Williamsburg neighborhood patrol and attacked a gay man in the neighborhood early one morning in December.

The district attorney’s office is charging the men with gang assault and unlawful imprisonment for the beating that was accompanied by a barrage of anti-gay slurs, according to the New York Post, and left fashion student Taj Patterson’s right eye socket fractured and his retina torn, according to prosecutors. The charges carry a maximum of 25 years in prison and the borough’s top legal eagle said the stiff sentences should send a message to maniacs to contain their rage.

“We simply cannot allow anyone walking on the streets of Brooklyn to be knocked to the ground, stomped, and brutally beaten,” said Thompson. “Our streets must be free of such violence and everyone must adhere to the rule of law, including these defendants.”

The incident began when Patterson, a Fort Greene resident, had left a party and was walking on Flushing Avenue at 5 am, according to the indictment. The quarrelsome quintet chased Patterson down, detained him, and accused him of damaging cars in the area, prosecutors said. There was nothing to the allegation, but the group surrounded Patterson and was joined by 10 more people, Thompson’s office alleges. When Patterson tried to flee, the men held him down and kicked and punched the living daylights out of him, the indictment states, while yelling homophobic curses at him, the Post said.

The alleged mob attack only let up when the driver of a B57 bus pulled over and started to snap pictures, according to the Post, which reported that the NYPD’s Hate Crimes was eyeing the attack. Thompson did not charge the five suspects with hate crimes.

The Williamsburg Safety Patrol, a volunteer neighborhood-watch group of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish type referred to as Shomrim, denied that the five accused are members, but the wording of its statement left open the possibility that some are.

“Reports that all five of the defendants indicted today are members of our organization are not true, and the acts alleged in these indictments are contrary to our mission and our membership,” said organization spokesman Joseph Pollack. “The Williamsburg Shomrim Safety Patrol condemns all acts of vigilantism in any form and treats all members of the greater community with the dignity and respect they all deserve.”

One neighborhood activist and member of the insular Satmar sect was quick to defend the Williamsburg Shomrim in general, though he emphasized he knew nothing about who was being charged.

“The Shomrim have been doing a marvelous job for 30 or 40 years,” said Simon Weiser, a member of Community Board 1. “They would never get involved in this kind of practice.”

An ultra-Orthodox rabbi issued a statement condemning the beating, though it did not mention the defendants’ purported Shomrim ties.

“The bedrock of the Williamsburg community is tolerance for one and another,” said Rabbi David Niederman, president of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn. “Any act of violence by any individual, against anyone, for whatever reason, is condemned in the strongest possible terms.”

Cops are still after a fifth suspect in the scary smackdown.

Patterson could not be reached for comment.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

jay from nyc says:
None of this is new, There are blogs devoted to catch shorim doing things that they are not supposed to do, here is one of them
and here is an invetgative report done on them accusing the shorim of being racist, see it at
and here is an article in the daily news basically saying similar things see it at
I kind of chuckled at this Rabbi saying that they are founded on tolerance, made me think of things like blocking bike lanes because women might ride through wearing immodest clothing and cutting down street sings and putting up illegal no parking signs and modesty squads breaking and entering peoples places because they have an ipod and confiscating it. This rabbi to my knowledge has nothing to do with any of that, but I still found it ironic.
April 24, 2014, 7:18 pm
judahspechl from bedstuy says:
yeah sure we are tolereant to all of course. We believe in freedom, for all. we also believe in kicking the crap out of anyone at our chosing. who dare cross us? Which anit-semite?
April 24, 2014, 10:58 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
So one day I'm standing on a corner in Crown Heights right near the Shul over there and this nudnik walks up to me and asks me what I'm doing and why am I there and can he help me and so on. Incredible. This is on a sidewalk in New York City. I think I asked him what fence his mother jumped over to get into this country. Unbelievable.
April 25, 2014, 4:40 am
bkmanhatman from nubrooklyn says:
This is disgusting. Those men should be charged with hate crimes. I think I read that one of them was deported from Israel, I hope they get stuck with the gen pop in Rikers.
I hope someone gets their photos and plasters them all over north Brooklyn of these criminals.
April 25, 2014, 7:57 am
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
This is "real" Brooklyn. A fetid backwater of self-appointed religious thugs. It's no different from the Puerto Rican gangs, who are also gay-banshers and superstitious semi-literates. The sooner we drive them and their ignorant communities out of Brooklyn, the better.
April 25, 2014, 12:55 pm
Barry from Flatbush says:
Sorry, Chooch, that you were bashed by "Puerto Rican Gangs". Maybe you should go home.
April 25, 2014, 5:28 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Never been bashed in my life. Though I've certainly dressed for the occasion on the streets of Brooklyn. Though I would pity the mook who would try to bash the Chooch. Unless of course he'd enjoy a spanking.
April 25, 2014, 7:25 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
The Chooch was referring of course to this incident in Williamsburg 3 years ago:
April 25, 2014, 7:28 pm
Pietro from Park Slope says:

The alleged are vigilantes-nothing more and nothing less.
Nowhere else in America is a religious group
'security squad allowed to drive around and harass
people on a public street.
These vigilantes should be out-lawed and taken
off the streets now!
April 26, 2014, 2:01 pm
The Chooch from The Bohemian Magic Show says:
Agreed, Pietro. It is nothing less than bizarre that the Shomrim are legal. A neighborhood watch group is one thing, but the Shomrim are tantamount to a self-appointed religious police force, somehow empowered to apprehend and beat the crap out of people on the streets of New York. The group should be disbanded and made illegal. On no account should the NYPD "cooperate" with these goons. A policeman's job is only easy in a police state. If the cops can't do their job without help from Jewish storm troopers, then we need to hire more cops. But these freelancing Nazi homophobes should be shut down, and fast.
April 26, 2014, 2:46 pm
Marvin Gardens says:
This clearly propoganda. If they were really Shomrim, why are two of the defendants clearly Chinese??
April 27, 2014, 5:31 am
max from brooklyn says:
The Shomrim people usually is helping the police to chase the gangsters, this is most likely a self defense act,

in allot of times they are getting attacked by night gangsters
April 28, 2014, 4:41 pm

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