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Video shows driver allegedly trying to hit people near Brooklyn yeshiva. He's charged with attempted murder.

Driver who nearly hit students & rabbis charged with attempted murder
Driver who nearly hit students & rabbis charged with attempted murder 02:26

NEW YORK -- Video shows a driver jump a curb and allegedly attempt to hit pedestrians on the grounds of a Brooklyn yeshiva Wednesday morning.

Police say the driver, 58-year-old Ali Asghar, made antisemitic statements before driving his white Ford Crown Victoria toward pedestrians standing by the yeshiva on Glenwood Road in East Flatbush.

"Somebody came in, running in that a car came onto the sidewalk and almost killed him, almost knocked him down. The guy fell, tripped while running," a student told CBS New York. 

A teacher frantically ran inside the school and told people to call 911 as students were getting ready for class. Students said the driver turned around and went by a second time. 

"I went around the corner and we stood there, about 15 boys, and he came zooming against the boys and we all ran away," the student said. 

Driver nearly struck 5 people, yeshiva says

Witnesses said the driver shouted antisemitic statements as he circled the property. He nearly struck three students and two rabbis, yeshiva officials said. 

"It was very scary statements, killing statements," the student said. 

Asghar was arrested and charged with attempted murder, attempted assault and menacing, among other charges.   

New York Attorney General Letitia James said on X, "This is horrific. In New York, no one should ever fear for their lives because of who they are. We must make sure that Jews and every New Yorker feels safe here. Anyone who commits an act of hate and antisemitism must be held fully accountable."

In a statement, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said, "The flames of antisemitism are being fanned across the globe and it's spreading like wildfire. This disgusting and cowardly act is what happens when we normalize hate, and I have been clear there is absolutely no place for hate in our city. Thankfully, the NYPD was able to remove this individual from our streets and charge him quickly. Let this be a clear message to those who seek to harm our Jewish, or any other, community in the city: we will find you and we will bring you to justice." 

Yeshiva officials said police spoke with students and staff and patrolled outside the building after the incident. Ultimately, no one was injured.

Antisemitic attacks have Jewish communities in Brooklyn on guard

According to police, antisemitic crimes are on the rise, putting the community on higher guard.  

According to NYPD data, at this time last year, 86 antisemitic hate crimes had been reported. So far this year, there have been 131.

In one incident earlier this month, police say two Jewish boys, ages 11 and 13, were viciously beaten on a sidewalk in Williamsburg. Surveillance video shows one of them being kicked and hit repeatedly.

Police now say a 12-year-old boy was been arrested in connection to the attack. He has been charged with assault as a hate crime and aggravated harassment as a hate crime.

"I'm happy justice is going to be done, and I will feel safer," one Williamsburg resident said.

She told CBS New York she's keeping a closer eye on her children, especially her young daughter.

"I wouldn't let her on the street alone. And my older kids, but they have no choice," the mother said.

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