What there is to know
- Harold “Heshy” Tischler, an activist from the city’s Borough Park neighborhood, has been charged with inciting people to riot and unlawfully jail a journalist during a protest against COVID rules
- Large protests erupted last week after Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled new restrictions on schools, businesses and places of worship in areas where coronavirus infection rates have increased
- Cuomo said the so-called cluster areas contain 2.8% of the state’s population, but accounted for a much higher share of cases
A leader of the protests against the new coronavirus restrictions in Brooklyn has been ordered to stay away from a reporter chased and trapped by a crowd.
Judge Edwin Novillo told Heshy Tischler, accused of inciting a riot and unlawfully imprisoning a journalist, that he would risk being arrested again if he had contact – or if anyone another was making contact on his behalf, including through social media – with Jewish Insider reporter Jacob Kornbluh.
Tischler, a city council candidate and activist from Borough Park, was arrested Sunday evening due to the chaos that erupted during the October 7 protest.
The video shows a crowd of men, pushed by Tischler, surrounding, pushing and taunting Kornbluh, who reported resistance to social distancing in the neighborhood. Tischler, who was not wearing a mask, can be seen screaming at Kornbluh’s face. Kornbluh, who is also an Orthodox Jew, said he was beaten and kicked in the incident.
Tischler called his arrest a “political coup” on Twitter. He said he believed his interactions with Kornbluh were protected by the First Amendment.
During the video hearing on Monday, Tischler’s attorney, Abraham Hoschander, protested against the judge implementing the protection order against his client, saying he “presented no danger”.
Tischler was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court on April 27.