A Brooklyn teenager has been arrested after she allegedly struck an Israeli Columbia University student with a stick on Wednesday night, police have confirmed.
Maxwell Friedman, 19, was charged with one count of assault following an altercation with a 24-year-old School of General Studies student in front of Butler Library.
A NYPD spokesperson told DailyMail.com that around 6.10pm on Wednesday, officers responded to an assault in progress.
On arrival, they were told that the victim – identified only by the initials I.A. – was engaged in a dispute that had become physical.
The victim accused Friedman, of Bushwick, of striking I.A. in the hand with a wooden stick. She was taken into custody.
The victim refused medical attention, the spokesperson said. The incident is not being investigated as a hate crime.
NYPD responded to an assault in progress around 6.10pm on Wednesday, October 11. The argument arose after 19-year-old Maxwell Friedman was confronted for tearing down posters of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas
The attack happened by Butler Library on the Columbia University campus. Friedman has been arrested and charged with assault after striking another student with a wooden stick
The incident came one day after members of the school community gathered to honor the Israeli lives lost in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict
I.A. spoke with the Columbia Spectator, a student-run paper at the university.
He said one hand was bruised and his ring finger on the other hand was broken. In the wake of the altercation, he did not plan to return to campus soon.
‘This is because me being an Israeli these days. Not me because being myself,’ I.A. told the paper.
‘It is because me being an Israeli who is under a certain kind of threat.’
A friend of I.A. also spoke to the Spectator, remaining anonymous. He said Friedman approached him and other students as they were putting up posters with names and photos of Israeli hostages reportedly taken by Hamas.
Friedman told the students that she was Jewish and asked to join them.
Around 5.30pm, I.A. said he was outside Butler with friends and saw Friedman, now hiding her face with a bandana, tearing the flyers down.
I.A. claims that Friedman screamed obscenities at the group when they approached her.
He says Friedman hit him with a stick before trying to punch him in the face – which is when he ‘defended himself.’
‘We were all kind of shocked that this stuff can happen on our own campus, which should be a safe haven,’ I.A. said.
‘We don’t know how to handle the situation, let alone that our families and friends are going through the worst nightmare, and we are mentally in the same ship with them.
‘And, now, we have to handle the situation that campus is not a safe place for us anymore.’
The victim in the attack – identified only by the initials I.A. – is an Israeli student whose family and friends are back home. He said: ‘We are mentally in the same ship with them’
A smoke cloud rises during an Israeli strike on Gaza City. Casualties on both sides have exceeded 1,000 as of Thursday, including hundreds of children
However, other narratives have emerged since Wednesday.
On October 12, an alleged friend of Friedman’s – who is also a student at Columbia University – posted an account of the events to Twitter.
He claimed Friedman had been putting up flyers for a pro-Palestine demonstration at the school when a large group of students began ‘harassing her, calling her a terrorist, provoked and pushed her, and recorded her.’
Friedman grabbed a flyer back from one of the students, he said, causing the student to get a papercut, ‘which would later constitute an arrest for assault by the NYPD.’
He claimed university public safety was called, while the other students laughed as she was escorted away.
Friedman herself is Jewish, according to the friend.
‘This event has had significant misinformation surrounding it, with people online and in the largest university news publication claiming things from her punching a student, acting as an unprovoked aggressor, hitting a student with a stick, giving people cuts on their face, and assaulting multiple students,’ he wrote.
He slammed the author of the article that had appeared in the Spectator, claiming she ‘did not reach out to anyone who knows (Friedman) who was witness to the event.
‘I am working with her friends and family through the legal processes of her arrest, but I think it is important right now for people to understand the truth of the situation,’ the friend wrote.
The charred cars of festival-goers were left discarded after Hamas fighters stormed Nova Festival near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Israel to be at war. Israel has cut off electricity and blocked the entry of food and fuel into Hamas-run Gaza
One night earlier, students held a vigil in the middle of campus to commemorate the Israelis who had been killed in the war.
Social media video showed students holding candles while singing a prayer in unison.
The altercation between Friedman and I.A. came one day ahead of scheduled protests by members of pro-Palestine group Students for Justice in Palestine.
The national chapter deemed October 12 the ‘Day of Resistance’ and called on over 250 chapters at colleges across the country to mobilize.
Members of the school community pushed back, countering the ‘pro-Hamas protests’ a with petition that received over 3,200 signatures.
It called for the administration to condemn Hamas’s ‘egregious acts of violence against innocent and unarmed civilians’ and express its support of ‘Israel’s need to defend itself.’
On October 9 – one day after Hamas fighters launched a surprise attack on Israel – Columbia University President Minouche Shafik issued a statement.
It read, in part: ‘Since Saturday, our first priority has been to make sure everyone connected to Columbia is safe and to provide logistical support and other types of resources for students, staff, and faculty who are directly affected by the conflict.’
Shafik added: ‘We must reject forces that seek to pull us apart and model behavior that shows respect for all.’
Protests have erupted across New York City. On October 9, people took part in a demonstration in front of the Consulate General of Israel in Manhattan
The two groups were separated by metal barriers and forced to stand on opposite sides of the street as some exchanged taunts and verbal spars with each other
The assault occurred a day before planned student-run protests at Columbia. Students for Justice in Palestine called for members of its 250 chapters to mobilize at campuses across the country
John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesperson, confirmed that at least 27 U.S. citizens were among those lost in the war
Gaza’s ruling Hamas militant group launched an unprecedented attack on Saturday, firing rockets into Israel as hundreds of fighters infiltrated the border.
The country was thrown off guard on Simchat Torah, a major holiday when Jews complete the annual cycle of reading the Torah scroll.
Gunmen encroached on towns and communities outside the Gaza Strip, firing at civilians and IDF soldiers.
In a televised address Saturday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who declared the country to be at war – said the military would use all of its strength to counter Hamas, warning that ‘this war will take time. It will be difficult.’
Israel has since cut off electricity and blocked the entry of food and fuel into Hamas-run Gaza, where about 2.3 million people live.
By Thursday, the Israeli death toll spiked to at least 1,200, while the number of Palestinians killed in the counteroffensive reached 1,417.
National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby confirmed that least 27 U.S. citizens were among the dead.
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