New Square, NY
- Sex Arrest Stirs Hasidic Rage Mob storms Brooklyn precinct; 12 officers hurt (10/24/1990)
- Hasidic Leaders, Brooklyn Police Meet on Melee (10/25/1990)
- Melee Follows Arrest of Hasid on Sex Charge (10/25/1990)
- Melee's Wake: Everybody's Mad (10/25/1990)
- Hispanics Cite Bias (10/27/1990)
By Bob Liff and Curtis L. Taylor
Newsday - October 24, 1990
Police said about dozen officers were injured, none seriously, before the protesters were forced back onto Union Avenue, where about 200 held a vigil in the the rain for two hours before dispersing about 11:15 p.m.
A group of about 30 Hispanics at the same time staged a counter demonstration, shouting, "Lock him up. Lock him up." Hasidic community leaders said they believed the man had been falsely accused and charged that he was roughly handled by police.
Hispanic protesters said they feared the arrested man would be given special treatment.
Police said no formal charges had been filed late last night and that an assistant district attorney was being called in to evaluate the situation.
The incident that led to the filing of the complaint occurred at the Clemente Plaza, a Mitchell-Lama housing development that is home to both Hispanics and Hasidics and has been a flashpoint in disputes between the two groups over community issues, officials said.
According to officials and Hasidic community leaders, a woman who lives in the building charged that a Hasidic visitor to the development sexually assaulted her in an elevator.
But the Hasidic leaders said the woman has a history of harassing Hasidics and is facing eviction from the complex.
Angelo Rodriguez, the development's manager, said the woman's family is disruptive and that an eviction hearing is scheduled for next week.
The family, he said, has been the subject of complaints of harassment against blacks and Jews.
Rodriguez said security officers told him that they saw the woman chasing the man into the building.
But Saul Nieves, one of about 25 Hispanic counter protestors at the station house, said the Hasidics are accorded special treatment and that Hispanic complaints are often brushed aside.
"These people do this all the time," Nieves said. "They can't just abuse our women and expect nothing to happen."
Rabbi Moses Teichman, who lives in the complex, said he would file a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board charging that the officers who arrested the man roughed him up.
The assault on Union Avenue's 90th Precinct station house, in which 44 officers reported injuries, followed the arrest of a Hasidic man on sexual abuse charges. Chaim Ciment, 36, was arrested after a 17-year-old girl complained to security guards that the man attempted to fondle her in an elevator at the Roberto Clemente Plaza houses.
Hispanic leaders led 500 people in a vocal protest in front of the same precinct house Thursday night, with several police officers contradicting their commanders by privately saying Hasidim do receive special treatment.
"What happened Tuesday is a reflection of the attitude of the Hasidic community," said David Santiago, a leader in the South Side Political Action Committee who met with city Human Rights Commissioner Dennis deLeon yesterday.
Santiago charged that the Hasidim use their clout to intimidate police and to control city housing policy, a reference to a federal lawsuit in which Hispanic plaintiffs have assailed the sale of city urban renewal land to Hasidic developers.