A 44-year-old man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for strangling and assaulting a Jewish man as he walked home from his synagogue in East Flatbush.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said James Vincent was sentenced for strangulation and assault as hate crimes for the unprovoked attack against the man in April 2018, whom he cursed and strangled as the victim was walking home from a synagogue.

Gonzalez said a 52-year-old Jewish man was walking home from his synagogue after Sabbath prayers around 1:00pm when he walked past Vincent near Rutland Road and East 46th Street in East Flatbush. Vincent yelled, “You **** Jew, you Jews took my house and mortgage.” The victim continued walking when Vincent ran up to him from behind, placed his hands on his neck and applied pressure, according to Gonzalez.

He then punched the man in the head and body, put his arms around his head and applied pressure. Two bystanders intervened and the defendant continued to yell epithets regarding the victim’s religion as the victim picked up his yarmulke and kippah, Gonzalez said. Vincent then fled. 

The victim suffered various injuries to the head and body.

Several surveillance videos from the area helped to identify Vincent and the investigation revealed that he purchased ice cream in a nearby store using his bank card. He was arrested on April 27, 2018.           

Gonzalez said the “frightening and unprovoked attack” left an innocent man terrorized.

“We will not tolerate bias-motivated crimes in Brooklyn, where we pride ourselves on the diversity of our neighbors,” he said. “I hope that this sentence sends the message that my Office will pursue and bring to justice those who target our community members with hate-fueled violence.”

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