Queens man indicted for assaulting Israeli tourist in Times Square as NYC antisemitic attacks continue to surge

Police officer in Times Square
A police officer in Times Square
Photo by Dean Moses

A Queens man was indicted in Manhattan Tuesday on hate crimes charges for harassing and then assaulting an Israeli tourist in a recent antisemitic attack in Times Square.

Yehia Amin, 29, allegedly shouted anti-Jewish slurs at the male victim on a walk through the area, then punched him after the victim attempted to get assistance from a security guard, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

It was one in a rash of antisemitic hate crimes that have occurred in New York since the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel, which led to war in Gaza. Bias crimes have surged dramatically in the nearly two months since the terrorist attacks; in November, the NYPD reported Tuesday, hate crimes surged by 32% compared to November 2022, with 62 of the 96 total incidents involving people of the Jewish faith.

Amin’s indictment and prosecution, Bragg said Tuesday, was a sign of local law enforcement’s zero tolerance for hate.

“As alleged, Yehia Amin taunted and punched a tourist after stalking his friends and going on a vile antisemitic tirade that spanned several minutes,” Bragg said. “Violence stemming from hate and discrimination will not be tolerated in Manhattan. We will continue working with our law enforcement partners to hold those that cause harm accountable to ensure Manhattan is a safe place for everyone.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.Photo by Dean Moses

Prosecutors said Amin allegedly went on the attack on the night of Oct. 18, when he approached the victim, who was walking through Times Square with friends at about 9:30 p.m. Noticing that they were wearing yarmulkes, it is alleged, Amin began following them while turning up a Bluetooth speaker to play music that he allegedly later described as “Hamas music.”

While stalking the victims, according to the indictment, Amin allegedly shouted numerous statements calling for the death of Jews.

Upon reaching the corner of West 47th Street and 7th Avenue, authorities said, the victim approached a security guard for help, but Amin allegedly continued to berate him with biased remarks — including, at one point, saying, “I want to kill you for Gaza.”

Moments later, the indictment alleged, Amin punched the victim in the back of his head, then fled the scene. The victim’s friends pursued Amin, joined moments later by police officers who managed to apprehend him.

Despite being caught, prosecutors noted, Amin continued yelling antisemitic slurs and statements as he was placed under arrest.

The victim, meanwhile, suffered minor injuries including redness, swelling and pain to his head.

Amin was booked on charges of first- and third-degree stalking and third-degree assault (all as hate crimes), and second-degree aggravated harassment. He faces between 3 1/2 and 15 years behind bars if convicted of the first-degree stalking hate crime charge.

Bragg advised the public to call his office at 212-335-3100 if they witness, or are a victim of, a hate crime.