Omar Sattar, 33, a Muslim FDNY firefighter, tested positive for the coronavirus nine days after three Hasidic teens in Borough Park deliberately sneezed on him, according to a letter cited by the NY Post (Muslim firefighter gets coronavirus after Hasidic teen allegedly sneezed into his face).
The letter, sent by Lt. Kasey Koslowski of Engine Co. 282 to Thomas Richardson, the Fire Department’s Chief of Operations, relates that while the firefighters were responding to a call at 47th Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway, Sattar was approached by “three Hasidic Jewish teens” who “taunted him and asked him if he was afraid of the coronavirus.” Then, “after repeated attempts to keep distance from the boys, one of them sneezed into his face and they ran off,” Koslowski wrote.
We don’t know of a recording of the event in question, but we are very much aware of this video of an Israeli Haredi teen using the same MO.
According to the Lieutenant, four days after the “unusual occurrence” Sattar began to experience flu symptoms and on March 27 his test came back positive.
“Although we will not be able to tell if this positive COVID-19 test result is a direct outcome of the previous incident, what we do know is the continued lack of disregard by the citizens of Borough Park for the state of emergency policy,” Koslowski complained to the FDNY COO.
FDNY spokesperson Jim Long refused to comment on the NY Post report, but confirmed that as of Saturday, 426 FDNY personnel, firefighters, EMS, and civilian staff, have been infected with the coronavirus.
There’s an additional wrinkle to this story: Omar Sattar is the celebrated son of Ahmed Abel Sattar, who is serving a 24 year prison sentence for a 2005 plan of violent attacks on New York City Jews. In November 2017, Omar Sattar was hailed as one of 279 graduating firefighters in a class that also included the son of a firefighter who died at Ground Zero on 9/11.
At the time, the NY Post quoted Sattar, who said: “I respect FDNY members and I am humbled to have this opportunity to be a part of this incredible Department. The FDNY is a family that always supports each other and now I am living it. It means the world to me to be here.”
Former Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind told the Post the Haredi youths’ behavior was “sick and outrageous.” Noting that they were a minority in the Haredi community, Hikind nevertheless wondered “What the hell is wrong with these people?”