A woman accused of slapping three Jewish women in Brooklyn was charged on Saturday with attempted assault as a hate crime and released without bail, only to be re-arrested less than 24 hours later for a similar crime.
Police initially arrested Tiffany Harris, 30, on Friday night after they say she slapped assaulted three Orthodox women, ages 22 to 31, in the face and head on a street corner in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights area.
According to a criminal complaint, Harris, who is black, admitted to attacking the women and spewing anti-Semitic slurs.
‘Yes, I slapped them. I cursed them out. I said “F-U, Jews,”‘ Harris was quoted as telling investigators at the time of her arrest.
She was arraigned on a slew of misdemeanor charges of attempted assault as a hate crime, harassment and menacing on Saturday, after which she was released from jail without bail.
Her lawyer, Iris Ying, declined to comment, and the New York Post reported that Harris rebuffed questions as she left a Brooklyn court.
On Sunday morning, Harris was arrested again, this time for allegedly hitting a 35-year-old woman in the face on Eastern Parkway in the Prospect Heights neighborhood, leaving the victim with a swollen and bruised right eye, according to police.
It is unknown whether the victim in the Sunday attack was Jewish; police are not treating the incident as a hate crime.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has defended the release of defendants as part of bail reform in the city, insisting: ‘We have a problem. We’re not going to jail our way out of the problem.
‘We have a huge NYPD presence. This hate is dangerous.’
Around the city, police have gotten at least six reports this week – and eight since December 13 – of attacks possibly propelled by anti-Jewish bias.
Mayor de Blasio said Friday that police presence would increase in Crown Heights and two other Brooklyn neighborhoods with large Jewish populations.
Dalia Shusterman, one of the Jewish women who was allegedly slapped by Harris on Friday, later recounted the incident on Facebook, calling the attacker a ‘raving lunatic’ who struck her friend on the back of the head while spewing ‘a mouthful of Jew hatred’ as the women walked home from a Hanukkah party.
In an interview with the Jewish news publication The Algemeiner, Shusterman, who is a musician playing in the band The New Moon All Stars, blasted law enforcement officials for letting Harris go without bail following the attack on Friday.
‘It’s a malignant growth out of their unwillingness to sympathize with the Orthodox Jewish community, which has always been relegated as the other, stereotyped as oppressors, and treated as unworthy of societal protection,’ she stated.
Shusterman took to Facebook again on Sunday, sarcastically remarking on Harris’ second arrest: ‘remember that charmer I introduced to you who’s hand collided with the heads of 3 Jewish women a few nights ago while spewing Jew hatred at us, and then got released from custody hours later because deBlasio and Cuomo are such nice guys and totally have this under control? Well jumping Jiminy, she’s at it again.’
Court records show that Harris has two other cases pending against her involving charges of assault, attempted assault, harassment, menacing and criminal mischief.
She is scheduled to appear before a judge in connection to the attack on the three Jewish women on January 10.