The lawyer for a black Brooklyn man who was beaten in a racially-charged attack is accusing prosecutors of refusing to indict one of the assailants because of his family’s political ties.
Five Hasidic men were charged in the brutal assault of Taj Patterson, who was jumped four years ago while walking down a Williamsburg block.
But with the last defendant slated to be sentenced Thursday, Patterson’s lawyer is calling on the Brooklyn district attorney’s office to charge a man identified at trial as one of Patterson’s attackers.
“One token felony conviction does not placate Taj and his family, when one of the primary assailants remains protected for corrupt, political, and frankly, racial reasons,” Patterson’s civil attorney Andrew Stoll told the Daily News.
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Stoll was referring to Yoelli “Joel” Itzkowitz, whose brother Yanky is the politically-connected coordinator of the Williamsburg Shomrim volunteer security patrol.
Two people who testified at the trial of suspect Mayer Herskovic — a witness to the assault and an NYPD detective who reviewed surveillance video — identified Itzkowitz as one of Patterson’s attackers.
Yet authorities never questioned Yoelli Itzkowitz, who is a member of the Shomrim along with some of the other men charged with attacking Patterson.
“One witness and an NYPD Detective have already identified Itzkowitz in court under oath. Two defendants copped out, can be subpoenaed, and can no longer plead the fifth,” Stoll said.
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Calls to Yoelli Itzkowitz were not immediately returned.
Herskovic, who is awaiting sentencing, is facing up to 15 years behind bars for his role in the attack.
Stall has written two letters to the DA’s office calling for the arrest of Itzkowitz. Neither was returned.
A spokesman from the prosecutor’s office declined to comment on the investigations and refused to say whether Itzkowitz was or is considered a suspect.
“We can only conclude that this DA's office remains unwilling to grant equal access to justice to all Brooklyn communities,” said Stoll.