Police are expected to make an arrest soon for the attack on journalist Jacob Kornbluh by a crowd of Orthodox Jewish men protesting COVID lockdown measures in Borough Park, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday during his weekly appearance on WNYC radio’s The Brian Lehrer Show.
Kornbluh, a political reporter at Jewish Insider, and was kicked and hit in the head by the angry crowd as they yelled “Nazi,” “Hitler” and “snitch” under the direction of pro-Trump community agitator and City Council candidate Harold “Heshy” Tischler.
Wednesday was the second night that hundreds of Orthodox men took to the streets in the Brooklyn neighborhood to protest the state’s newest restrictions on schools, businesses and houses of worhip in parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Some burned piles of face masks and clashed with officers.
I was saved by heroic police officers and several community members. I’m safe right now.
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) October 8, 2020
“I spoke to Jacob yesterday morning and Jacob Kornbluh is a very respected reporter who tries to let his community and all New Yorkers really know what is going on,” de Blasio told Lehrer. “What happened to him was unacceptable it was disgusting to watch it, it was troubling to watch, it was painful,” de Blasio told Lehrer.
The attack and the police officers subsequently escorting Kornbluh away from the row caught on camera on Tuesday night by a handful of reporters.
At Heschy’s urging, the crowd just surrounded and attacked journalist @jacobkornbluh. They pinned him against a wall and shouted “moyser” (“snitch”) as NYPD lost control of the situation. Really scary scene. Jacob is a pro pic.twitter.com/783MqbzTBe
— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) October 8, 2020
A crowd just chased journalist Jacob Kornbluh from the crowd shouting “traitor” pic.twitter.com/x7sHh7fWTB
— Ben Verde (@verde_nyc) October 8, 2020
“I talked with Commissioner Shea and an arrest is expected in that case shortly…Obviously, you can’t just have someone assaulted for trying to actually report the news,” de Blasio added.
Tischler posted a video online Friday afternoon stating that he would possibly turn himself in at 10 a.m. Monday morning at the 66th precinct in Bensonhurst for inciting a riot and the attack on Kornbluh.
During a demonstration on Tuesday, Tischler told a large un-masked crowd of Orthodox men protesting COVID restrictions “you are my soldiers! we are at war!,” according to The New York Times.
“I just got a call from the precinct, they will be arresting me Monday morning, I’ll be taken in for inciting a riot…I will be turning myself in, I’m not sure yet,” Tischler said in the video on Twitter. ” I will, of course, be pleading not guilty and Mr. Jacob Kornbluh is a very terrible, bad man.” The possible arrest is not the first run-in with the law for Tischler. In 2013, the radio personality and 11 others were sentenced to a year and a day for immigration fraud.
Tischler also apologized for calling first lady Chirlane McCray a “crazy, retard woman” and other slurs during a protest on COVID restrictions turned Trump rally on Tuesday night.
“I called her a bad woman name, I apologize for that, I shouldn’t have done that name,” he said.