Federal prosecutors charged the founder of the Borough Park shomrim with a three-count indictment for allegedly coercing a 15-year-old girl to travel for sex, authorities announced on Thursday.
Jacob Daskal, 62, had been charged in New York State court in 2018 for raping the teen victim, and was out on a $75,000 bond, but now the feds have stepped in — hitting him with charges of coercing a minor to engage in illicit sexual conduct, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, and traveling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct,
“Daskal, who was almost 60 years old when these crimes were committed, exploited the vulnerability of a young teenager by grooming her for sex and enticing her into having sexual relationships with him,” acting US District Attorney Seth DuCharme said in a statement.
Federal prosecutors say that Daskal — who founded the private safety group that patrols Borough Park in conjunction with the 66th Police Precinct — fostered a sexual relationship with the underaged girl, who abused his home in Brooklyn in 2017.
Daskal also allegedly took the girl to his summer home in upstate New York — crossing state borders into New Jersey along the way, according to court documents.
The cross-border crimes continued when the victim moved to Chicago, and Daskal allegedly communicated with the victim over Skype and text, asking her to pose nude during video chats and send nude photos, according to the federal complaint.
On Nov. 5 2017, Daskal traveled to Chicago to visit the victim, where he brought her to a hotel room for sex, prosecutors allege.
“A man who founded an organization aimed at creating a safer community should know the difference between right and wrong,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr.To continue reading in TheBrooklynPaper
We are posting a notice circulated by UJA Federation of New York’s CEO, Eric S. Goldstein. We have mixed feelings. It is very well-intentioned. We are thankful that a decision was made to postpone the virtual “Celebrate Israel” parade. However, we take issue with the very fact that it took the brutal, racist and synchronized killing of George Floyd to compel UJA Federation to rise to the challenge of confronting racism against others.
We have posted about the savage beatings of black men in New York’s neighborhoods at the hands of our own, the Shomrim, (a/k/a Williamsburg Safety Patrol) several times. It is nothing short of police brutality when they don police gear and drive police vehicles. Consider Taj Patterson, a gay black man who was savagely beaten at the hands of Brooklyn’s Shomrim. He case against them was nixed.
Taj Patterson, now 28, was attacked by roughly 20 members of the WSP as he was walking home from a party on December 1, 2013. He sued the WSP, members of the patrol, and the city in the federal and state courts. His argument is that because the city funds the patrol and has given the patrol other benefits, the WSP is effectively an adjunct of the NYPD but its members have never been adequately trained. Given the political power of the Orthodox Jewish community, which established the patrol, the patrol is allowed to operate outside the law with impunity, Patterson has argued.
We failed to get traction from any Jewish organization. We have posted about the corruption within the Shomrim organization for the last nearly 4 and 1/2 years; and organizations like UJA Federation have ignored our pleas for Jews to take some responsibility. Crickets.
We are well aware that Goldstein is in a tough position as he must be sensitive to the needs of a Jewish community he represents in some dignified fashion. Walking a fine line of language and its limitations is not easy. We, however, believe that the death of George Floyd, is long past the time to take notice of racism when our own Shomrim, not just in New York but in other areas of the country, take legal liberties with black lives. Taj Patterson is but one example.
We offer our condolences to George Floyd’s family for the tragedy that befell him. A country that is drowning in hate will hopefully be transformed by the resulting peaceful protests and discussions like those suggested by Goldstein. We, as Jews, only hope it is not simple lip service.
We recognize that most Jews live a life of white privilege; and we will thus never be able to step into the shoes of a person of color, nor should we be blind to the hypocrisy.
We are at a loss to express how deeply sorry we are for the role we play in our own brand of racism and hope this sparks change.
New York pols from Mayor de Blasio down have supported the groups, even as accounts of their rough conduct pile up.
The Brooklyn Hasidim accused of beating a young, gay black man named Taj Patterson back in 2013 are reportedly about to get a plea deal so sweet, they won’t serve a single day in prison. Patterson, who was beaten so badly that he was left blind in one eye, and who had homophobic slurs hurled at him throughout the ordeal, is surely having a hard time understanding the aftermath.
Why did local police quickly drop the investigation into his attack, despite available eyewitnesses, until his mother’s persistence shamed them into action? Why didn’t the membership of several of the alleged attackers in a Hasidic security patrol prompt the cops to widen their search to probe the discriminatory history of the Shomrim, as the patrol is called — instead of writing “CLOSED” over the case within 24 hours of the first report and listing the charge as a misdemeanor, not a hate crime? And why are the three alleged assailants who still await trial (two have already walked) apparently going to get off so easy, instead of facing prison terms?
Prosecutors haven’t told reporters why Patterson’s brutal beating isn’t worth jail time. Maybe, as anonymous sources told The Daily News, witnesses who originally implicated the defendants are suddenly getting cold feet. But in that case, Patterson must be wondering why the Brooklyn district attorney can’t charge someone among the insular, “informer”-blaming Williamsburg Hasidim with intimidating those witnesses, instead of folding his cards and letting the alleged attackers walk free.
But Orthodox Jews like me — we know why, don’t we?
For too long we’ve allowed a system of Jewish-run patrols to dominate the heavily Orthodox Jewish enclaves of Brooklyn, usurping the role of the official police force (with key support from vote-hungry politicians), despite their record of violence toward non-Jews. And for years we’ve held our tongues as the patrols’ unchecked behavior carried on.
The cover-up of the assault on Patterson isn’t the first such outrage in Brooklyn. When Orthodox patrol members in Crown Heights allegedly beat and maced Andrew Charles, another young black man, back in 2008, the key suspect was ignored by Brooklyn authorities after he fled to Israel. Prosecutors eventually did get him extradited, but while they were trying, the alleged attacker still got vigorous support from a group of “top rabbis, community heads, and [Orthodox] Assemblyman Dov Hikind,” as the Daily News reported in November 2011. Those heavy hitters even had the chutzpah to accuse the Brooklyn DA of anti-Semitism!
JUST ANOTHER REASON TO RETIRE THE NON-POLICE, POLICE ORGANIZATIONS! AN INTENTIONAL MISNOMER…
We cannot overstate enough that we believe it is time to retire, to sunset, to say Kaddish over the Shomrim of Brooklyn.
The genesis of Shomrim was the brotherhood of Jewish officers who were or are actually police officers.
But all of the other companies masquerading as Shomrim Police Officers are not actually police officers, they are a neighborhood watch with a misleading name.
It might be time to disband the “ganza michpacha” the “whole family” and rebuild.
Perhaps the brotherhood of Jewish Police Officers should refer to themselves as “Achim” (brothers) and get the word Shomrim out of Brooklyn’s law enforcement parlance.
The Shomrim, who are connected and not connected to law enforcement are less about brotherhoods and protecting and more about…. well, if Yanky Daskal is any example, bullying.
But if publicly available corporate records have anything to say about reality, Yanky Daskal (Jacob Daskal) is also Principal for the Shmira Civilian Volunteer Patrol of Boro, located in Brooklyn. It appears not to be a company, not to be a corporate entity; but it has an address and money.
But, all of this appears to be interconnected to the private funds of Jacob Daskal, the private relationships of Daskal and his deep seated political clout.
Shomrim and Shmira, Shmira and Shomrim, what’s what?
Detective Joe Vitella, the Longtime Community Affairs Liaison at the 66th Retires and Borough Park’s Satmar Offer a Celebration
Det. Joe Vitella, the longtime community affairs liaison at the 66th Precinct, retired today after 27 years in the NYPD
Detective Joe Vitella has been credited with taking down Shaya Lichtenstein, the Shomrim member who pleaded guilty in a gun-permit scandal. Vitella had been asked to testify in the trial of former Deputy Inspector James Grant who was ultimately acquitted. https://nypost.com/2018/04/26/feds-want-cop-in-bribe-string-to-testify-at-nypd-trial/. Vitella himself was not implicated and we make absolutely no suggestion that he should have been.
He has retired with a string of laudatory credits to his name. But the majority of his praise comes from the Satmar community covered by that precinct.
For us, what remains disturbing is the gray area that characterizes the lines drawn between the police department, the community boards and the Shomrim of Borough Park.
We are concerned lest a private community be favored by a police department, not in how that department protects its precinct but in how they handle the badly behaved within that precinct.
We fear that it may be the roosters running the hen-house and wonder why the Borough Park papers offered Vitella praise in painstaking detail but his retirement is really not mentioned elsewhere. We begrudge Retired Detective Joe Vitella nothing. Mazel Tov on your retirment.
We do ask, who is running whom within the walls of that community and the doors of that precinct.
The following article was not written by LM. We have republished it from another source http://www.patheos.com. It was written by Adam Lee. We did not take the liberty of correcting any typos or grammatical errors but left it as published. We emphasize, with all of our reposts, that the publication to our site should not be deemed to be an endorsement of our site by anyone else, nor an endorsement of their site by us. When there are views in common, we believe they are worth sharing.
I’ve written before about the malign influence of New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect. They want to shut out the modern world and recreate a medieval theocracy, and because their members vote in lockstep obedience to the commands of their rabbis, they wield outsized political power.
In the Brooklyn neighborhoods and other towns where they’re the majority, they’ve committed one outrage after another: taking over school boards and strip-mining public schools, trying to impose gender apartheid on public spaces, prohibiting boys and especially girls from receiving an education, perpetuating barbaric religious rituals, brutally harassing and persecuting ex-members… and they do all this while shamelessly siphoning government assistance from the society they live in, demanding that others labor to feed, clothe and house them while they engage in lives of endless religious study.
But today’s outrage may exceed all of those.
It comes from a post I saw on Reddit’s popular Legal Advice forum. The poster, who’s a gay man, wrote a plea for help with this title: I am being harassed by the orthodox Jewish “police” in my home. This has been going on for almost 2 years since I moved in. I am at my wits end, what can I do to stop it?
I live in Brooklyn NY. I purchased a condo about 2 years ago in a building where a good chunk of the apartments are rented out by Orthodox families. i would say that 45% of the building is occupied by Orthodox families renting and the rest are condos owned + occupied by non orthodox people. I honestly did not care and did not think this would be a problem.
However, it seems the other families in his apartment building don’t share his live-and-let-live attitude. They disagree with his “lifestyle”, so they’ve been trying to harass and intimidate him into moving out:
The issue is that they have been using the Jewish police to harass me. To give you an idea of the shit I am dealing with I’ll tell you what prompted this post. I chose to have a Superbowl viewing party today. About 30 minutes into the start of the party (when there were FIVE people here) I get a knock at my door and standing there are two fake police who try to tell me they got a ‘noise complaint’ and a complaint that we are using ‘illicit substances’ that i have to end my party. We were in my yard at this point literately just talking and smoking (cigs).
Yes, he said “fake police”. We’ll get to that.
But it gets even more shocking. The Hasidim’s harassment has been escalating over time, until it’s come to this point:
Since then, they have been standing outside of my building trying to prevent people I INVITED from entering and have been harassing my guess, treating to ticket them and demanding to search them.
When the poster was asked to clarify, he explained:
the main door opens by buzzer. ill buzz someone in and they will physically stand shoulder to shoulder in front of the doorway and tell my guest that they dont have permission to enter (after i just buzzed them in) and if they try to push past them will physically push them out and threaten to assault them if they keep trying to get in.
now whenever someone is coming over who doesnt have a key I always go down and open the door myself but i have to ask them 15 times to move to let me do so and sometimes have to call the nypd to come and make them move to let people in.
The group that’s harassing this person is called the shomrim, Hebrew for “guards”. They’re a neighborhood watch that’s active in ultra-Orthodox communities. They style themselves a civilian auxiliary whose only goal is to assist the police in protecting their neighborhoods from crime. The reality, according to this poster and to many others who’ve had experience with them, is that they operate as a vigilante mob – harassing outsiders, violently beating anyone they suspect of committing a crime, and treating ultra-Orthodox religious dogma as if it were law.
A New York Times article from 2016 has some examples, like this one:
Shortly before 5 a.m. on Dec. 1, 2013, a young black man named Taj Patterson was walking home through Hasidic Williamsburg after a night out with his friends. Mr. Patterson, a fashion student, was drunk. As he made his way up Flushing Avenue, a local shomrim group received a call about someone vandalizing cars. What was soon a throng of more than a dozen people stopped Mr. Patterson on a quiet stretch of Flushing in between Spencer and Walworth Streets. He resisted; there was a scuffle. Mr. Patterson soon lay on the ground with a crushed eye socket, a torn retina and permanent blindness in his right eye.
But while they’re swift to unleash mob violence on outsiders, especially people of color, they take a see-no-evil, hear-no-evil attitude when it comes to crimes committed by one of their own:
“Who is really controlling the Borough Park police station?” asked Joe Levin, a Hasidic private investigator who has clashed with the shomrim. “It’s not the N.Y.P.D.”
A few years ago, Mr. Levin said he handled a divorce case where a husband was beating his wife. One day, he added, the woman was hurt so badly that an ambulance removed her from her home on a stretcher. The police and the shomrim were also at the scene, he said, but no one did a thing when the husband rushed out, flipped the stretcher and knocked her to the ground.
“I saw this with my own eyes — everybody did,” Mr. Levin said.
The worst part is that, because of the Hasidim’s political pull, the shomrim have virtual impunity. The Legal Advice poster says that he’s tried many times to get the real police to intervene and stop this brazen harassment of him and his guests. Even with video evidence, they refuse to act: