Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Suspect in beating of cop's son livin' it up in Israel as victim's father fumes 

A Brooklyn man wanted in the beating of a cop's son is hiding in plain sight in Israel - enraging the victim's dad.

Yitzhak Shuchat, 27, fled after the incident and is living outside Tel Aviv with his wife and children, his family confirmed Monday.

"It's a disgrace," said NYPD cop Moses Charles. "My son is still suffering, and this guy gets to enjoy his life."

Andrew Charles, then 20, was riding his bike through Crown Heights in April 2008 when he was set upon by a gang of men who doused him with pepper spray and beat him with a night stick.

Shuchat - a member of a Hasidic civilian crime patrol named Shmira - was identified as one of the attackers in the racially charged incident.

An arrest warrant was issued in May 2008, although the charges have not been made public.

Shuchat fled to Montreal and then Israel shortly afterward, investigators believe.

His secret was not made public until this year, when a man entirely unconnected to the case hunted the fugitive down and turned over the information to the Brooklyn district attorney's office.

Brooklyn car mechanic Aron Hershkop - a member of a rival crime patrol group, Shomrim - became convinced last year that Shuchat was harassing him from overseas.

Hershkop said his complaints to authorities fell on deaf ears.

So he hired a private investigator, Joe Levin, who easily located Shuchat in Lod, where Israel's largest airport is based.

"If I was able to find him with my resources, why can't the government find him with their resources?" Hershkop said.

He said he told Brooklyn prosecutors last month where they could find Shuchat.

A spokesman for the district attorney would not say how long the office has known where Shuchat is hiding out.

"We have been actively pursuing his extradition, and we will continue to do so," District Attorney Charles Hynes said.

The office referred further questions to the State Department, which referred questions to the Justice Department. The Justice Department declined to comment.

Charles said he was never told investigators knew where to find one of his son's accused attackers - nor was he given an explanation for the holdup.

"I wasn't aware of this. I wasn't given any information," the 42-year-old officer said.

Shuchat did not respond to a message left with his mother-in-law, Rachel Kirschenbaum.


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