Manhattan, NY - Police: Yeshiva Students Not Intended Targets In Midtown Bottle Throwing
Manhattan, NY - Two yeshiva students who were thought to be targeted in a Manhattan attack this past Friday were apparently just in the wrong place at the wrong time, according to the NYPD.
As previously reported on VIN News, Yosef Rachimi and Yisrael Gadafi, both 20 years old, were at the intersection of 9th Avenue and 37th Street on Friday afternoon when a bottle containing a flammable substance was hurled in their direction by an unknown man shouting death threats.
Police said that the two yeshiva students were standing in a group and there was no reason to assume that they were the intended targets.
According to a Gothamist report, police have identified the actual mark as the manager of a local food cart storage business. Sergeant Lee Jones of the NYPD said that an argument had erupted between two men, one of whom was the manager at Hegazy Food Vendor, located on 37th Street, just south of 9th Avenue, just prior to the incident.
“It looks like an individual got into some sort of dispute with a manager at a food cart storage facility, came back, and threw a bottle containing a combustible substance,” said Jones. “Yeshiva students were in the vicinity as well as the Muslim person who was the manager at the food storage facility.”
Jeff Gilbert, owner of a courier company which used to be located at the site that now houses Hegazy Food Vendor, said that episodes between food vendors are not uncommon.
“That would not surprise me because [people in the food vendor business] regularly rip each other off,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert questioned the alarmist nature of earlier reports which stated that the attacker deliberately targeted the two yeshiva students.
“Something about the story didn’t sound right to me,” explained Gilbert. “These hysteria mongers go out and they blow things out of proportion when really it’s just one crazy going after another.”
While police acknowledged today that flames erupted briefly during the incident, they denied reports that the item thrown was a Molotov cocktail.
“A Molotov cocktail contains some type of accelerant with a rag,” police told VIN News. “This looks like a bottle of alcohol that somehow caught fire for just a short second.”
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