BSO: Man sought in Dania attack on Jewish man; Miami incident under investigation
FORT LAUDERDALE -- Investigators with the Broward County Sheriff's Office asked for the public's help Thursday to find a man caught on surveillance camera beating a Jewish man last week in Dania Beach.
The unidentified victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment but it was not clear if he was still hospitalized as of Thursday, according to the written statement.
Officials said the attack occurred on Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m. near the 2400 block of Stirling Road.
The man told detectives he was riding his bike and talking on the phone in Hebrew when the suspect directed an antisemitic slur at him.
The suspect then punched the Jewish man in the face before he fell from the bike and to the ground, according to investigators.
"I think I know who he is," a man who lives on the streets of Hollywood and Dania Beach identified only as Robert said. He would not give his full name, but Robert thinks the suspect lives among the homeless in the area.
"I know he's a homeless guy and he kind of has two personalities," Robert said. "Sometimes he's nice. Sometimes he breaks out to screaming and yelling at people."
A string of videos shared publicly by BSO, the suspect wore a yellow beanie. One clip showed him talking to someone at a corner bench. The next showed the suspect knocking the victim off a bicycle, then standing near the victim before walking away. Another clip showed the suspect arguing with witnesses working a construction job nearby.
"I'm not scared," the suspect yelled in the video clip released by investigators.
BSO's Violent Crimes Unit hoped the videos produced tips to help track down the suspect.
"We don't want this to occur to anyone else," BSO Public Information Officer Gerdy St. Louis said. "We're asking anyone from the public to reach to the Broward Sheriff's office."
Rabbi Joseph Korf of the Hollywood Community Synagogue feels revolting slurs are a growing problem in South Florida.
"There is a lot more anti-semitism," he said. "As a philosophy, our main job is to bring kindness, to bring light to the world and slowly remove all the darkness," Korf said.
When asked what he hoped would happen with the Dania Beach assault investigation he did not hesitate.
"I hope that (the suspect) gets caught," Korf said. "I hope everybody helps. I hope everybody does their part (because) the one who did this still has to be punished."
Anyone with information on the man's identity was asked to contact the sheriff's office at 954-321-4200.
Meanwhile, in Miami, an alleged antisemitic attack at a high school soccer game left one person injured.
Wednesday night, a soccer game between Scheck Hillel Community School and Archbishop Coleman Carroll High School turned rowdy after a fight is caught on camera.
It is not confirmed that an antisemitic attack happened, but every person that spoke with CBS4's Chelsea Jones said they did not hear the antisemitic slurs.
In a joint statement, Scheck Hillel and the Archdiocese of Miami say they have zero tolerance for antisemitism or hate of any kind. They are investigating.
A letter was sent to parents notifying them of the incident.
One person was injured, and the Florida High School Athletic Association has been notified.
Here is the letter that was sent to parents, faculty and staff:
Dear Parents, Faculty and Staff,
Scheck Hillel Community School and the Archdiocese of Miami share a sacred responsibility to provide for the care of our students. Last night, a physical altercation took place between Scheck Hillel Community School and Archbishop Coleman Carroll High School, a Catholic school sponsored by the Archdiocese of Miami.
We are deeply saddened by these events. The Archdiocese of Miami and Scheck Hillel have zero tolerance for any kind of aggressive language and behavior, antisemitism or hate of any kind. These actions are not aligned with our shared values, are the antithesis of what we teach, and do not meet our expectations of our students.
To dispel rumors, we want to clarify last night's events:
· It is concerning that students from Archbishop Coleman Carroll may have made antisemitic comments or gestures at the outset of the incident, although both schools are still completing their initial investigation.
· In response, spectators ran onto the field immediately after the game.
· The altercation then occurred between spectators and players.
· A spectator was injured and received appropriate medical attention.
· The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) was informed.
We are thankful for the faculty and security of both schools, who immediately managed the situation to maintain order in a rapid fashion. School athletics are built upon teamwork, sportsmanship and citizenship; these same values must be upheld on and off the field/court and deep within and far beyond the classroom.
Both Scheck Hillel and the Archdiocese are investigating the matter, and will take appropriate action with the students involved. We are committed to working together, over the long-term, to build understanding between both schools in our mutual commitment to safety, respect, and forgiveness.
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