Plea lets Waseem Awawdeh, who allegedly beat Joseph Borgen with crutches, plead to a lesser charge and serve 6 months instead of the 3½-15 years he currently faces.
Two of the four defendants charged in New York City criminal court with brutally beating Joseph Borgen on May 20, 2021, have been offered generous plea deals. The four are accused of assaulting Jews at a pro-Israel protest near Times Square while shouting ‘You dirty Jew, f— Israel, go back to your country.’
The two offered deals were Waseem Awawdeh and Faisal Elezzi. Awawdeh is reportedly the one who beat Borgen with crutches. He later publicly asserted that he “would do it again.” Awawdeh also appears to have been charged with criminal mischief/property damage in Brooklyn (Kings County) last Kristallnacht (November 10, 2022).
UPDATE-23-year-old Waseem Awawdeh was arrested for using a crutch to assault a man in front of 1604 Broadway. He’s been charged with hate crime assault 2, gang assault 2, menacing, and criminal possession of a weapon.@NYPDDetectives @ADL_NYNJ @simonwiesenthal @JCRCNY @TheCSSorg
— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) May 21, 2021
According to Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Press Officer Kay Nguyen, the deals won’t be confirmed until they are entered on the record. That’s expected to happen on defendants’ next scheduled court date, which is January 26. The plea requires Awawdeh to plead guilty to Attempted Assault in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime, and serve six months’ incarceration followed by five years’ probation. Awawdeh is currently charged with (actual) Assault in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime.
Elezzi, who has been charged with a lesser offense, is only required to plead guilty to Attempted Assault in the Third Degree as a Hate Crime. In exchange, he will serve no prison time. Instead, he will be sentenced to a period of intensive diversionary programming.
No plea deals have been offered to the other two defendants, Mahmoud Musa and Mohammed Othaman. The highest offense with which both have been charged is Assault in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime. That’s the same offense with which Awawdeh was charged. According to Nyugen, it carries a minimum term of 3½ years’ imprisonment, and a maximum term of 15 years’ imprisonment.
In other words, Awawdeh, who is charged with a crime carrying a sentence of 3½-15 years’ imprisonment after beating Borgen with crutches, will serve six months after pleading to a lesser charge.
There are legitimate reasons for reaching plea agreements to lesser charges, such as the difficulty of proving a charge. With film of at least part of the assault, and a defendant claiming he’d do it again, that doesn’t seem to be the case here.
— Rob Bertrand (@Robertrand77) May 20, 2021
District Attorney Alvin Bragg – who recently turned over a 2,700-2,800 year-old Judean artifact to the Palestinian Authority – offered this statement supposedly explaining the plea deal decision: “This Office does not tolerate antisemitic attacks and will continue prosecuting hate crimes vigorously, using every tool at our disposal to address hate. Here, following an extensive investigation, senior leadership of the D.A.’s newly expanded Hate Crimes Unit determined appropriate plea and sentencing recommendations based on the facts, available evidence and varying levels of culpability.”
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