Harold “Heshy” Tischler was sentenced to 10 days community service for assaulting a mob of men who pursued and trapped a journalist during the October 7 demonstration in the Orthodox Jewish quarter of Borough Park.
Tischler, the same unmasked rowdy who wreaked havoc during a briefing to health officials at a Brooklyn hotspot two weeks earlier, had also been charged with threats and harassment.
Jewish Insider reporter Kornbluh said he was attacked on the night of October 7 in Borough Park while reporting on the protest against New York’s latest restrictions on COVID-19 hotspots – and that Tischler was the one that triggered it.
Tischler, an activist and city council candidate, posted a video on Twitter after his court appearance on Friday, praising his lawyers for “saving me” and showing up behind the counter with supporters of a local pizzeria.
Kornbluh tweeted that he praised Tischler’s recognition in court “that he incited a riot against me and was held accountable for his actions.” I look forward to continuing my journalism work without getting discouraged. “
Protests erupted in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood on Tuesday and Wednesday evening after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new restrictions on schools, businesses and places of worship in parts of the city and state. Report by Ray Villeda and Checkey Beckford of NBC New York.
The video shows a crowd of men, pushed by Tischler, surrounding, pushing and taunting Jewish Insider reporter Jacob Kornbluh, who reported resistance to social distancing in the neighborhood. Tischler, who was not wearing a mask, can be seen yelling at Kornbluh’s face. Kornbluh, who is also an Orthodox Jew, said he was beaten and kicked in the incident.
Tischler, who was caught on camera making abusive remarks about the mayor’s wife and others, later accused Kornbluh of “crying wolf”. The judge at his arraignment hearing granted a protective order for the journalist against Tischler, who is not authorized to contact Kornbluh in any way – in person or online, which includes anyone others contacting Kornbluh on their behalf.
Tischler’s lawyer Abraham Hoschander protested the judge implementing the protection order against his client, saying he “presented no danger”.
Tischler had called his arrest a “political coup” on Twitter. He said he believed his interactions with Kornbluh were protected by the First Amendment.
“It’s definitely a witch hunt, something the mayor of Blasio is doing to the Jewish community for no rhyme or reason,” said Hoschander.
The meeting with Kornbluh came as large protests erupted in Borough Park after Governor Andrew Cuomo reinstated COVID restrictions on schools, businesses and places of worship in areas where infection rates have soared sharply.
Most of the more severely restricted areas are home to large Orthodox Jewish populations; religious leaders have complained of being singled out. The spike in cases coincided with the consecutive Jewish holidays at the end of September.