The Jewish Chronicle
Horror antisemitic attack in north London
THE POLICE chief for Camden and Islington has said officers will “do our utmost” to catch the perpetrator of a violent antisemitic assault, after horrified witnesses described the attack in broad daylight on one of Islington’s busiest streets.
Bystanders told the Highbury and Islington Gazette that a man with a walking stick in his seventies was attacked on Tuesday afternoon at the Highbury Corner roundabout in Islington by a strongly built, shaven haired man in his 30s.
“The old man told us that he was standing there to catch his breath when the man came up to him and was asking if he was Jewish”, one witness told the local paper.
“Following that the man started to hit him.”
Another described how the attacker “was punching violently and right in the face with a closed fist.
“The older gentleman was utterly defenceless... He was just taking the blows. He kept going: ‘Please stop’. Blood was pouring from the old man’s mouth and his body must have taken a lot of blows. The attacker ran off very fast. He was manic.”
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “Officers are investigating reports of a racially aggravated public order offence.
“A report was received by police at 2.12pm today. The incident is believed Highbury Corner
to have taken place in Highbury Fields, N5. Enquiries are ongoing.”
On Wednesday afternoon, Chief Superintendent Raj Kohli, borough commander for both Camden and Islington, tweeted: “So very sorry for the victim, his family and the wider Jewish community for this awful and targeted attack.
“Hate crime is vile, unacceptable and makes minority communities feel vulnerable.”
A vigil was held on Wednesday evening at the site of the attack.
The attack in Islington came a day after a man was arrested in Borehamwood for alleged antisemitism in a separate incident.
A spokesperson for Hertfordshire police confirmed that “Stephen Passfield, aged 57, of Farriers Way in Borehamwood, has been charged with racially or religiously aggravated harassment in connection with an alleged antisemitic incident in Clarendon Road, Borehamwood, on the afternoon of Monday, February 25.
“He has been released on bail and is next due to appear before St Albans Magistrates’ Court on April 2, 2019.”