Anti-Semitic rant caught on camera at Costco in Nassau County; man arrested

NORTH LAWRENCE, Nassau County (WABC) -- Police in Nassau County have arrested a man for allegedly harassing a group of people over their religion.

It happened Sunday at the Costco store on Rockaway Turnpike in North Lawrence.

The suspect, 20-year-old Justin Pichizaca from Queens, is now facing charges of aggravated harassment and menacing.

Pichizaca was silent as he left his court arraignment Tuesday, a far cry from the way he was in cell phone video that was riddled with expletives, slurs and threats.

"References were made to Adolf Hitler," said Hempstead Town Council member Bruce Blakeman. "There were references that were racial in nature that were, I wouldn't use the word inappropriate, I think that's too light. They were disgusting."

The target was Avrumi Fridman, an Orthodox Jewish man from Woodmere, and grandson of Holocaust survivors, who says it all began in the bathroom of the Costo.

And Fridman says he grappled with a difficult decision - to follow Pichizaca back out with a cell phone to document the hate.

"Therefore I had to take a stand, memorialize what he was saying, to stop him in his tracks because if we let him get beyond words there's no end to it," said Fridman.

And it turns out Fridman wasn't the only victim. Police say another Jewish man near the exit of the store says Pichizaca called his 11-year-old son a "fat menace". But then it got worse.

"Once the father stepped in, he had threatened the father to come back with a gun and shoot him up," said Fridman.

He also says another family has come forward to him but not to police, accusing Pichizaca of yet another hate crime that same day in the store.

Pichizaca faces several counts, including hate crimes. But he was released on his own recognizance until his next court appearance.

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