Cops hunt Hasidic EMT in Brooklyn attack on black college student
Updated Friday, May 16th 2008, 10:27 AM
Police released a photo of Yitzhak Shuchat, calling the 25-year-old emergency medical technician a “person of interest” in the high-profile assault.
Shuchat is a member of the Crown Heights Shmira neighborhood patrol and a former NYPD auxiliary police officer, police sources said.
As Charles walked along Albany Ave., a white man on a bicycle sprayed him with Mace, police said.
A second man emerged from a GMC Envoy and smashed Charles in the back and arm with a nightstick, police said. An adviser to the Charles family said both attackers wore yarmulkes.
Police sources said a Shmira patrol went out that night in response to reports that black youths threw rocks at people’s homes and grabbed the first black teen they saw.
Shuchat’s mother, Rachel, disputed that claim.
“My son, he goes out to protect people. He doesn’t go out to beat people,” she said.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes convened a grand jury to investigate the assault – and to squeeze members of Shmira to tell what they saw that night.
Police sources said Shuchat had been a volunteer auxiliary police officer in Brooklyn’s 77th Precinct as a teenager, but was dismissed for undisclosed reasons more than five years ago. Charles’ father works in Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct.
Shuchat, identified by the victim from a photo array, has not been seen in the neighborhood for several weeks. Police fear he may try to leave the country.
“They are looking for a scapegoat because this was a police officer’s son,” he said. “The kid doesn’t even have a broken arm! Does that warrant all this? They are treating my nephew like a murderer.”