Wednesday, September 05, 2012

2 men attempt to run down Jewish bakery patrons in Monticello, police say 

Two Monticello men accused of driving a car at people standing outside a Jewish bakery, yelling ethnic slurs at the Hasidic patrons and then punching a man were arrested Sunday, police said.

The suspects were identified as Esai Diaz, 21, and Brandon Morales, 20.

Police were called about 9:30 p.m. to Fialkoff's bungalow colony on Waverly Avenue, where witnesses told police that Diaz, who was driving a 2003 Nissan Pathfinder, tried to hit people standing in the bakery's parking lot. Morales, seated in the front passenger's seat, yelled, "Go home; go back to your (expletive), Jews," the witnesses said.

"People did feel that Diaz deliberately drove at them," Lt. Mark Johnstone said.

The suspects drove off, only to return a few minutes later. Police said Morales got out of the car and punched a man in the arm. The alleged attackers then tried to drive away, but their car wouldn't start. So they ran, with some of the bakery's patrons chasing them. Officers arrested the pair a short time later.

Johnstone said police haven't determined what started this.

Diaz had eight active suspensions on his license, police said.

Diaz was charged with reckless endangerment, a felony, and aggravated unlicensed operation, a misdemeanor; Morales was charged with aggravated harassment, a felony, and harassment, a violation.

They were arraigned before Monticello Justice Josephine Finn, who set bail at $2,500, and taken to the Sullivan County Jail.


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