Council Member Mark Treyger released the following statement in response to reports that the NYPD has charged 25-year-old Shawn Schraeder in the recent assault of Kings Bay Y Executive Director Leonard Petlakh outside Barclay’s Center following the Brooklyn Nets-Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball game:
“I applaud the NYPD for recognizing the seriousness of this attack and for making a quick arrest, despite the fact that the suspect was halfway across the country. This sends a clear message that our city will not tolerate violence against anyone and will devote the necessary time and resources to investigating all incidents of hatred. I would also like to thank Mr. Petlakh for his unwavering leadership and devotion to our community and for his hard work over the years to bring people of all faiths together. My thoughts are with him and his family as they continue to recover from this shocking and brutal attack. Once again, we showed that we will rise above these kinds of incidents that serve to divide our borough and city and will always come together to denounce all forms of violence and hatred.”
The arrest came after Council Member Treyger met with NYPD Commissioner Bratton this week to discuss steps being taken in light of the rise in hate crimes in recent months, as the assault of Mr. Petlakh is part of a rash of recent crimes targeting New Yorkers of different backgrounds. In response, Council Member Treyger has requested that the NYPD devote additional resources to fully investigate all hate crimes across the five boroughs. While Council Member Treyger is pleased that an arrest has been made in this incident, he believes that hate crime charges are warranted based on remarks allegedly directed at the victim during the attack.