Police are currently investigating the details surrounding the beating of Taj Patterson, a 22-year-old fashion student, who was allegedly attacked by a Hassidic mob on the morning of December 1st. Eye witnesses, including the MTA bus driver who pulled over and intervened when he saw what was happening, described the men who attacked the student as wearing uniform jackets with three letters, one of which was an “S.”
The Daily News speculates that the “S” may stand for the Williamsburg “Shomrim,” a neighborhood watch group in the area, referring to the attackers as “hasidic gay-bashers.”
The incident is being investigated as a hate crime, and may be related to the Knockouts that have recently been targeting Hassidic men and women.
Here is the testament from the victim, from Gothamist:
“I’m walking down some block by myself and then the next thing I know, I’m surrounded by a group of Hasidic Jewish men and they’re attacking me,” Patterson, who sustained a broken eye socket, a torn retina, blood clotting, and cuts and bruises to his knee and ankles, said about the attack. “I was alone. I was an easy target. I’m black. I’m gay, a whole slew of reasons.”
He was apparently coming home from a party bus with his friends and was dropped off on Flushing Avenue in South Williamsburg before the mob descended on him.
Council Member Stephen Levin released a statement about the attack on Tuesday:
I am thoroughly shocked and deeply troubled by this appalling attack. Acts like this have no place in our society and our community will not tolerate them. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is currently investigating this crime and I have full faith and confidence that they will pursue every possible lead to ensure that justice is done and I will everything I can to assist them.