A JEWISH man was injured when he was punched in the neck and called a “f***ing Jew” on the corner of Carlisle and Hotham streets while walking home from shul after Shabbat on October 31.
The 22-year-old from Bondi in Sydney was in Melbourne visiting friends at the time of the attack.
Speaking exclusively to The AJN, he said he was left shaken by the assault but not seriously hurt.
“The person was drunk and he wasn’t very coordinated so he wasn’t able to hit me too hard,” the man, who is religious and was identifiably Jewish, said.
“It could have been a lot worse, but another Jew was passing by and jumped out of his car, and started screaming at the guy and stopped him from hurting me more.
“I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t stepped in.”
According to the police report of the incident, the offender was initially abusive and aggressive towards the victim.
The offender took the victim’s glasses, yelled abuse at him about the war in Israel and called him a “f***ing Jew”.
The offender then bent the glasses before handing them back to the victim, after which he punched the victim in the neck causing redness and swelling to the victim’s neck.
“I’ve never been confronted with an incident like this before and I’m told that it is quite rare in Melbourne,” the victim said.
“I was just unlucky but then Hashem helped me and I am okay.”
Soon after the incident started an off-duty police officer arrived and identified himself, and the attacker fled the scene. As the attacker, left he dropped his wallet and it was recovered by police.
“Police have the details of the offender and he has been identified by the police,” a police officer told The AJN. “He will be interviewed in due course.”