New York News

Man Attempts to Run Over Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn Antisemitic Attack, Shouting ‘I’m Gonna Kill All the Jews’

The video still shows Asghar Ali’s car near the school Wednesday, May 29. (Photo: Shomrim Flatbush)

By Tablet Staff

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — An apparently antisemitic attack occurred outside a Brooklyn Jewish school on Wednesday, where a man attempted to run over Orthodox students and a rabbi while allegedly shouting, “I’m gonna kill all the Jews,” sources told The New York Post.

Video footage from the Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol captured the incident as the driver revved his engine, mounted the curb, and swerved toward Orthodox Jews outside a yeshiva in Canarsie around 11:25 a.m.

The suspect, identified as 58-year-old Asghar Ali, is a Pakistani immigrant and livery cab driver with a history of mental illness. The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating and detectives interviewed Ali on Wednesday night.

Ali faces over a dozen charges, including attempted murder, attempted assault, and hate crimes. Authorities do not believe the attack is terror-related and have not found evidence of connections to radical groups online.

Driving a 2011 white Crown Victoria, Ali initially turned onto East 55th Street in front of Mesivta Nachlas Yakov School and suddenly veered towards students in Orthodox attire, according to the NYPD and video footage. He then circled back and targeted two more students and a rabbi.

“I’m gonna kill all the Jews,” he allegedly yelled, according to police. Fortunately, the intended targets escaped into the building, which also houses dormitories, and no injuries were reported. 

Rabbi Twersky, who works at the yeshiva, said the commotion began when Ali tried to hit a student who was on his phone at the corner of Glenwood Road and East 55th Street. Ali then drove on the wrong side of East 56th Street and sped towards a group of 30 to 40 students standing outside.

“I came in, and the boys were like, ‘Did you see the cameras? Did you see the cameras?’” Twersky recalled. “I’m more scared for them. I’m much more scared than they are — their adrenaline is up.”

Tire marks on the sidewalk and a police car stationed outside the yeshiva marked the aftermath of the attack. Initially, Ali escaped, but members of the Shomrim Safety Patrol quickly located him after he stopped at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.

“We retrieved the video footage and got the guy’s plate number,” said Bob Moskovitz, executive coordinator of the patrol. “It was a distinct car, a Crown Vic, an old model. You don’t see too many of those around.”

Residents reported that Ali frequently drove around the neighborhood. A Shomrim member spotted the car during routine patrol and alerted the NYPD, who arrested Ali and transferred him to Coney Island Hospital.

Law enforcement sources described Ali, who has lived in the U.S. for over two decades, as an “emotionally disturbed” person with four prior arrests, including one in 1998 for false personation. Although he identifies as a cab driver, Ali does not have a valid TLC license.

“We were pleased to apprehend this individual,” Moskovitz said. “This is not someone we want driving around, especially with the current antisemitic climate. The community can now feel a bit more at ease.”