Two judges and the Manhattan district attorney were too soft on a man suspected of anti-Semitic hate crimes, Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind said on Thursday.
David Haddad was released on his own recognizance by Kings County Criminal Court Judge Linda Poust-Lopez, while New York State Acting Supreme Court Judge Abraham Clott in Manhattan set bail at $2,500, which Hikind called " nothing short of shocking. Manhattan DA Cy Vance requested a bail of only $5,000. New Yorkers deserve an explanation."
David Haddad, who is Jewish, was arrested Sunday for making anti-Semitic phone calls including a Dec. 11 call to his mother in which he said “All Jews should die and go to hell.”
He is also suspected of painting swastikas on apartment doors earlier this month, as well as a graffiti attack in the Midwood neighborhood over the weekend.
Haddad reportedly knew nearly all of the victims, some of whom were his relatives, according to the New York Times. He reportedly was in a business dispute with his family, which may be the reason for the attacks. He is being charged by both the Brooklyn and Manhattan DAs because the incidents took place in both boroughs.
In a statement, Vance said that prosecutors are allowed only to judge bail requests by the defendant's flight risk. “Bail is ... not intended as a gimmick or ‘message," he said. "Our commitment to aggressively prosecuting these cases is the true measure of how we treat bias crimes." He said Hikind and other legislators could create a bill changing the criteria for bail based on their concerns.
Hikind praised Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes for seeking bail of $50,000, although Poust-Lopez released Haddad with no bail.
Noting that Haddad is charged with felony aggravated harassment as a hate crime, Hikind said "What message are we sending to criminals out there who commit these heinous acts?"
Hikind said he will release audio of the phone call one Jewish family received over the weekend. "This family is traumatized. To get a phone call saying, '...all Jews must die' after finding swastikas scrawled on several locations near their home is horrifying."
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