One of the two women charged with hate crimes for allegedly attacking a Jewish victim who confronted them for tearing down posters in New York City of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas appeared in court yesterday.
Mehwish Omer, 26, and Stephanie Gonzalez, 25, allegedly assaulted the 41-year-old woman after she approached the duo as they took down posters of Israeli hostages from a light pole in the Upper West Side on the night of November 9.
Omer has been charged with assault as a hate crime and criminal mischief as a hate crime, whereas Gonzalez has been charged with criminal mischief and robbery.
Omer went before a judge last night in Manhattan Criminal Court after trying to shield her face from photographers on her way into the courthouse.
Omer was granted supervised release and will return to court in January.
Mehwish Omer, 26, appears before a judge in Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday after surrendering to police earlier in the day
Omer hid her face beneath her coat as she entered the courtroom
The Jewish woman told police she began recording Omer and Gonzalez and arguing with them before she was attacked.
The young women then allegedly assaulted her, ripping off her Star of David necklace and knocking her cellphone out of her hand before running off.
The victim was reportedly left with minor injuries to her face and neck, and her phone was damaged.
Omer’s attorney told the judge an altercation provoked his client.
‘I see enough fights in a day and people say things just to rattle other people,’ lawyer Lee Koch told the judge.
The NYPD had offered a $3,500 cash reward for information on the two attackers, who remined unidentified for days after the alleged assault.
Omer’s attorney told the judge that an altercation led to the assault
Mehwish Omer, 26, was charged with hate crimes in Manhattan on Monday
She is accused of assaulting a Jewish woman who confronted her as she was tearing down posters of Isreli hostages in Manhattan
Omer (right), and Stephanie Gonzalez, 25 (left), allegedly assaulted the 41-year-old woman after she approached the duo as they took down the posters
Both young women are charged with assault and criminal mischief as hate crimes. Gonzales is also charged with attempted robbery.
Neither of the suspects have a criminal history.
Their arrests comes after two 18-year-old New Yorkers, Charlotte Wimer and Gray Segal, were also arrested for tearing down posters of hostages kidnapped in the Israel-Hamas war.
The posters were of 240 Israeli children and adults kidnapped by the terrorist group since the October 7 assault on Israel. NYPD officials have charged both suspects with criminal mischief.
The wall of the privately-owned building was covered in red and white signs with the word ‘KIDNAPPED’ written above photographs of the missing hostages, as well as posters of the Israeli flag.
A video shared by an X user shows posters torn in shreds while Wimer and Segal are in handcuffs.
The victim recorded the young women tearing down the posters before she was attacked
New York City police have arrested several people for taking down posters of Israeli hostages
Sisters Aya and Dana were seen tearing posters this week that were placed around Broadway and 79th Street on the Upper West Side in New York
Posters highlighting the Jewish plight have been plastered all across the Big Apple as a way to draw attention to those still in Gaza as hostages. However, there have also been plenty of viral videos of people removing posters.
Weeks earlier, Sisters Aya and Danan were caught on camera tearing down posters of Israeli child hostages while screaming ‘f***k Israel’ on the Upper West Side of New York City.
They were confronted by passerby Marilyn Adler, walking down the street with her two daughters. When Adler urged them to stop tearing the posters, the duo launched a torrent of abuse against them.
Footage shows one of the sisters yelling, ‘f***k you, f***k Israel’. The other woman said, ‘f***k you, b***h’
‘They didn’t let me get a word out. They said it was Israeli propaganda. They said Israel made up the hostages with AI,’ Adler’s daughter, Melissa, told the New York Post.
‘I said, ‘Please have a conversation with me.’ They wouldn’t stop screaming at me. They just cursed me out and screamed at me. I was just stunned.
‘They looked at me with eyes full of hatred. They hate me simply because I’m a Jew. They don’t even know me.’
A Brooklyn ‘magician’, Noah Schaffer was seen tearing down posters of Israeli child hostages and was then fired from his job by his Jewish father