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A mob of Hasidic Jews stormed the 90th Precinct police station
house in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section last night to protest the
arrest of an Hasidic man on a sexual abuse complaint, authorities said.
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
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
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
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.
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
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 stationhouse, 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.