Photo Credit: Inna Vernikov / Twitter
NYC Council member Inna Vernikov congratulates Blake Zavadsky after his antisemitic attacker was sent to jail. May 30, 2023

The perpetrator charged in an antisemitic attack on a Jewish man in Brooklyn more than a year and a half ago has pleaded guilty to attempted assault in the third degree as a hate crime.

Suleiman Othman, 28, was arrested in January 2022 by detectives from the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force for attacking Blake Zavadsky in December 2021.


Zavadsky and Ilan Kaganovic, both 21 at the time, were standing outside a store in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn when Othman and another man began yelling at them and calling them “dirty Jews.”

Othman, a resident of Staten Island, struck Zavadsky in the face at least twice; the victim was wearing a sweatshirt with the emblem of the Israel Defense Forces at the time of the attack.

He will spend two months in jail and then remain on probation for the next three years, according to New York City Council member Inna Vernikov, who said the sentence was a victory.

“In a world where criminals have free reign, I am ecstatic to have played a role in bringing justice to my constituent, Blake Zavadsky, and his family,” Vernikov said in a statement.

“For close to two years, we have been appearing in court, rallying, protesting, and pressuring those in charge to make sure that the perpetrator is held accountable. This was a long journey, and I will not stop doing my part to make sure that criminals face consequences for their actions.”

Zavadsky said in response to the announcement that he has been “waiting for this day” since he was attacked in December 2021 for his Jewish identity.

“Considering today’s soft-on-crime policies such as bail reform and trendy anti-police rhetoric, it is exceptionally rare that a perpetrator of a hate crime gets jail time.

“Today’s victory serves as an important lesson: speaking out and standing up matters,” Zavadsky said, and thanked Vernikov, former Assembly member Dov Hikind, District Attorney Eric Gonzalez and the NYPD for their help.

“I will continue to be a loud voice in the fight against antisemitism,” he added.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.