May. 8, 2023 By Bill Parry
The 17-year-old boy from Ithaca Street was criminally charged with assault as a hate crime after he joined in on a beatdown of 48-year-old Sam Levy, who was walking through the park on his evening constitutional on Sunday, Feb. 19. The teen was the second boy charged in the case after a 16-year-old from Corona was charged in the attack in late March.
The Elmhurst teen, who was not identified because he is a minor, was arraigned on a 14-count complaint charging him with assault in the second degree as a hate crime; two counts of robbery in the second degree; assault in the second degree; assault in the third degree as a hate crime; two counts of grand larceny in the fourth degree; criminal possession of the stolen property in the fourth degree; assault in the third degree; criminal mischief in the fourth degree; petit larceny; criminal possession of the stolen property in the fifth degree; identity theft in the third degree; and unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third degree.
According to the charges, Levy was walking along the Roundabout in Flushing Meadows Corona Park at approximately 8:25 p.m. when he saw the defendant and approximately five others. The defendant and one of the others separated from the group and positioned themselves at opposite ends of the roundabout, at the end of the overpass across the Grand Central Parkway, forcing Levy to have to pass either one of them to exit the area. As Levy continued walking, he sensed someone run towards him from behind. He turned and saw the defendant running toward him. Levy ran, but the defendant caught up to him and struck him in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground. The defendant and the approximately five others gathered around the prone Levy. The defendant then kicked Levy on the left side of his face, breaking his glasses and causing bruising and swelling to his left eye.
As Levy attempted to get to his feet, he was dragged back down by the defendant and others who continued to kick him about the head, face, torso, and legs and then demanded money. Levy reached into his pocket and took out approximately $200 and his wallet, which contained his identification and credit cards, and tossed them toward the defendant.
While some of the perpetrators continued kicking Levy, others collected the money and wallet and took his cell phone and his house and car keys from his pants pocket.
The group continued kicking Levy while a member of the group yelled out, “___ Jew.” As Levy was being kicked, he yelled out more than 20 times that he was having a heart attack. As some members fled the location, the defendant continued kicking Mr. Levy for another minute and then fled from the crime scene.
Security camera video footage from a Burger King near the park shows the defendant, two other males and a female approximately three hours after the attack at a kiosk using what appear to be credit or bank cards. It has been determined that the cards belonged to Levy. Levy was transported to a local hospital. As a result of the attack, he sustained bruised ribs, bruising, and swelling to his left eye and experienced substantial pain in his torso, back, and head.
“Unprovoked attacks on Queens residents, especially ones motivated by hate, will not be tolerated,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “This defendant will now be held accountable for his alleged antisemitic attack.”