Thu. Jul 25th, 2024
alert-–-jewish-couple-pummeled-in-anti-semitic-brawl-at-their-twins’-fifth-grade-graduation-sues-nyc-for-$100-million-as-they-reveal-what-sparked-wild-fracasAlert – Jewish couple pummeled in anti-Semitic brawl at their twins’ fifth-grade graduation sues NYC for $100 million as they reveal what sparked wild fracas

A Jewish couple who was pummeled in an alleged anti-Semitic brawl at their twins’ fifth-grade graduation is planning to sue New York City for $100million.

Johan Nunez and Lana Lerner argue that the Department of Education ‘failed to provide adequate security measures’ at PS 682 in Brooklyn on June 14 amid an influx of anti-Semitic attacks since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7.

As a result, they say a woman smashed her black stiletto into Nunez’s head as he was repeatedly punched and kicked, and Lerner was dragged by her hair just moments after another family started screaming ‘Free Palestine.’

The couple now says they suffered assault and emotional distress from the caught-on-camera fight, according to a notice of claim obtained by the New York Post.

They also claim they suffered human rights violations. 

The family says the brawl occurred after a graduating fifth-grader wore an allegedly school-approved graduation cap with ‘Free Palestine’ written on it as he crossed the stage and waved a small Palestinian flag.

Seeing the display, Lerner said her mother recoiled and left her seat in disgust.

‘I can’t sit through this,’ her mother, a Jewish refugee from Ukraine, told her daughter in Russian.

Meanwhile, another parent asked school administrators how the display could be allowed at a graduation ceremony.

‘The administrator basically told her that “we contacted legal and were told it’s free speech and it’s allowed,”‘ Lerner told the Post.

The rest of the ceremony went off without a hitch, but once it was over, all of the families flocked to a balloon display to take photos.

As Lerner and her family stood to take photos of the twins, the family of the boy with  the Palestinian cap and flag tried to shove them out of the way, the notice of claim says.

‘They were pushing my mother out of the way,’ Lerner recounted.

‘She turned to them and said, “Excuse me, please stop pushing. There is plenty of space.’

But, she said, ‘an older gentleman [turned] to us out of nowhere and said “Free Palestine.”‘ 

Nunez then reportedly tried to defuse the situation by saying, ‘This is not the time or place for this,’ but one of the men in the other family kept screaming: ‘Free Palestine! Gaza is ours!’

At that point, Lerner said a younger member of the unidentified other family sucker-punched Nunez in the temple, put him in a headlock and dragged him to the ground.

Multiple people then joined in on the fracas, including a woman who allegedly nailed Nunez with her black stiletto.

In an effort to save Nunez, Lerner said their 16-year-old son tried to help get people off of his father – but ended up punched in the face as well.

Meanwhile, Lerner tried to record the assault on her phone, but said she was only able to capture a few seconds before ‘a woman from the same family came up from the left side of me, pulled me by the hair, dragged me on the ground, kicked me [and] said, “I’m going to kill you.”‘

The fight was eventually broken up by two male teachers, as there was no security on site, court documents say.

Police who responded to the scene also ended up arresting Ez-Al Dean Bazar, 26, who is accused of punching and dragging Nunez, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.

Officers are also investigating the incident as a hate crime, according to amNY. 

In the aftermath, Nunez went to a local hospital after sustaining injuries to his head, elbow and left knee, and Lerner went to an urgent care facility for injuries she sustained.

Nearly a month later, Nunez said he still has ‘a lot of body pain’ and is under the care of a doctor for his injuries. 

The family is now alleging the school ‘incited hostility’ by ‘allowing an anti-Semitic message to be displayed at a school event.’

‘It is our position that the DOE basically enabled this to occur because tensions  are high, and they did not have adequate enough security and supervision of the parents, family and guests who attended the graduation to ensure that something like this will not escalate to the point of violence,’ attorney Mark Shirian said.

He and his co-counsel, Sanford Rubenstein, added: ‘We think the DOE needs to consider the consequences when they allow such a display at a public graduation.’

The two also plan to file civil complaints against the Department of Education and those involved in the assault. 

DailyMail.com has reached out to the Department of Education and the city’s Law Department for comment.

But in a statement to the Post, a spokesperson for the Department of Education said: ‘Graduations should be times of celebration and joy, and we strongly denounce anyone who acts in a violent or aggressive way during such events.

‘Initial reports we have received from multiple witnesses indicate that both families engaged in aggressive behavior, but we are still investigating the matter and are simultaneously engaging with families as we work towards a resolution.’

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