KEY POINTS

  • Harold Tischler was arrested on charges stemming from the assault of a journalist covering anti-lockdown protests
  • At least two others were assaulted while at the anti-lockdown protest among New York City's Orthdox Jewish community
  • Tischler's supporters gathered outside the home of the journalist after Tischler's arrest, verbally attacking him while police kept them out

New York City council candidate Harold Tischler was in police custody Monday for his alleged role in the assault of at least one journalist during anti-lockdown protests in a largely Orthodox Jewish neighborhood.

Tischler was arrested on charges of inciting a riot and unlawful imprisonment for the protests in Brooklyn and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

“The New York City Police Department Warrant Squad has taken Harold 'Heshy' Tischler into custody,” the NYPD said in a press release. “He will be charged with inciting to riot and unlawful imprisonment in connection with an assault of a journalist that took place on October 7, 2020 in Brooklyn.”

The charges stem from the assault of Jacob Kornbluh, a journalist covering Wednesday’s protest for Jewish Insider. Videos showed Kornbluh surrounded by protesters who yelled at him, calling him a snitch or Nazi and pinning him against a building. Kornbluh added on Twitter he was assaulted by the crowd while Tischler egged them on.

At least two others, identified as Bruce Schaff and Berish Getz, were assaulted during the two-night protest, though no other arrests have been made.

Tischler, an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, helped organize the protests after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo instituted stricter lockdown measures to address COVID-19 hotspots across the state. These included limiting gatherings at houses of worship to 25% or a max capacity of 10 in the worst hotspots.

“We have always attacked clusters,” Cuomo said on Friday. “This cluster happens to be predominantly the ultra-Orthodox in Brooklyn and Queens. This is not the first time the state has taken this action.”

However, the Orthodox Jewish community took issue with these measures, leading to the protests in Brooklyn. A lawsuit was also filed in an attempt to overturn the lockdown, which was ultimately upheld by a federal judge.

Tischler started sharing videos online after the protests saying he expected to be in police custody by Monday. He planned to plead not guilty, saying he “did not commit this crime of violence, nobody was arrested that night.”

Shortly after his arrest Sunday, roughly 100 of Tischler's supporters gathered outside Kornbluh’s home. The crowd was heard chanting “no Heshy, no peace” as police blocked the entrance to Kornbluh’s apartment building.

(FILES) In this file photo Orthodox Jewish men walk in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights on February 27, 2019 in New York. The United States saw a record number of anti-Semitic incidents last year, including a sharp spike in physical attacks, the (FILES) In this file photo Orthodox Jewish men walk in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights on February 27, 2019 in New York. The United States saw a record number of anti-Semitic incidents last year, including a sharp spike in physical attacks, the Anti-Defamation League said Photo: AFP / Angela Weiss