TIMES SQUARE — Police released new surveillance images Friday night of several suspects wanted in connection with a vicious antisemitic attack in Times Square a day earlier.
Surrounded and outnumbered, Joseph Borgen told PIX11 News he thought he was going to die on Thursday when a group of men knocked him to the ground and assaulted him during tense demonstrations in Times Square over unrest in the Middle East.
Borgen said he was in attendance at the protest to show support for Israel. Instead, he was ambushed.
The group punched, kicked, pepper sprayed, and hit Borgen with crutches while making antisemitic statements, according to police and video of the assault.
“I was holding my head bracing, trying to make it out alive,” Borgen, 29, said. “They proceeded to assault me, kick me, beat me, hit me with flagpoles … My whole face was on fire, more pain than anything else.”
Borgen was treated at a hospital for his injuries.
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force launched an investigation into the attack.
“They were saying derogatory [things] — ‘filthy Jew, we’re going to kill you, dirty Jew,’” Borgen recalled. “I’ve lived in New York my entire life, a proud Jew my entire life and I have not had anything like this ever happen to me.”
Police canvassed the area and an unidentified 23-year-old man was taken into custody in connection with the assault, according to the NYPD. However, several suspects remained on the loose as of Saturday morning.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea urged anyone with information to call the NYPD’s CrimeStoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
The Times Square protest and violence came shortly after Thursday’s announcement of a cease-fire on the Gaza Strip. Fighting in the region stretched for about two weeks, leaving hundreds of Palestinians and dozens of Israelis dead.
Protesters on both sides in Times Square on Thursday evening took to the streets, provoked each other, and at one point threw fireworks or explosives from a truck in Midtown.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).