Stoke Newington hero believes knife attack on Jewish man was ‘hate crime’
A member of the public who stopped a north-east London knife attacker after a Jewish man was stabbed said he believes the incident was a “hate crime”.
The victim, aged in his fifties, was taken to a major trauma centre after the broad daylight attack near a bank in Stoke Newington on Friday. His condition is not yet known.
Construction site manager Lazar Friedlander and his brother Matt ran towards the alleged attacker and restrained him after hearing a “serious scream”.
He told the PA news agency: “We ran outside, I saw a Jewish man covered in blood. I’m Jewish myself, and I can see another Jewish man shouting ‘hold him, catch him, he’s got a knife! Stabbing!’
“There were a couple of other people trying to grab him. Me and my brother managed to force him down and put his hands behind his back until the police came.”
“I wouldn’t call myself a hero. You act in the heat of the moment,” added Mr Friedlander, who lives locally.
The suspect, a man in his forties said to be of Asian descent, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. He was taken to hospital with minor head injuries.
Officers said the incident was not being treated as terror-related but some onlookers, including Mr Friedlander, believed he may have been targeted because of his religion.
“Why he stabbed the Jewish man? I reckon it was a hate crime,” Mr Friedlander said.
He added that he tried to speak to the assailant after pinning him down but “he just blanked me and wouldn’t say anything”.