Thursday, April 11, 2013

Attacks on Hasidim worry Monroe board 

The Monroe Town Board held a special meeting Wednesday morning to denounce what it described as a spate of anti-Hasidic attacks, the most serious of which later turned out to be unfounded.

Gathered in Supervisor Sandy Leonard's office in Town Hall, board members expressed alarm at the reported incidents and the reproach they said is routinely directed at the Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel at board meetings and on the Internet.

"There is an atmosphere that has been created that seems to be accepted," Leonard said, vowing to keep a tighter rein on audience comments and conduct at future meetings.

Village of Monroe police say two teens were charged with harassment for pelting a Hasidic man with an onion as they drove past him on Route 17M Tuesday afternoon. The man wasn't hurt, and the boys said nothing to indicate any bias motivation, according to police.

State police investigators in Monroe say another teen has been charged with petty larceny for swiping a yarmulke off a boy's head. But they discounted a more troubling story about a group allegedly attacking another youth and cutting off his side-curls, saying it turned out the boy had snipped his own locks.

Monroe Councilman Gerard McQuade says someone threw a large onion at his front stoop on Tuesday. He's not Hasidic, but he blames that incident on his defense of Kiryas Joel during his campaign for state Assembly last year.


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