Man's vandalism of Upper East Side Kosher restaurant being investigated as possible hate crime

Sonia Rincón Image
Thursday, May 16, 2024
Video shows man breaking windows of Upper East Side Kosher restaurant
Sonia Rincon is live on the Upper East Side with details on an attack on a Jewish-owned restaurant.

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Video showing a man breaking the windows of a Kosher restaurant on Manhattan's Upper East Side is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

The small shards of broken glass around the edge of the window at Rothschild TLV Restaurant are the only evidence left of what happened early Wednesday morning.

The inner pane of the double-paned window survived.

A vandal can be seen on surveillance smashing the window with an object wrapped in black.

The same person with his face covered walks by only a minute earlier and looks at this target.

It was at 2:10 in the morning. Owner Mike Kalbo was not at all surprised to wake up to the news.

"I understood what happened, I mean right away. It was nothing to figure (out). We see what's going on in New York," he said.

It's not the first restaurant or Israeli-owned business vandalized since pro-Palestinian protests denouncing Israel's actions in Gaza have become a daily occurrence.

About two weeks ago in Chelsea, a restaurant was vandalized that featured an Israeli flag.

At Rothschild, a mezuzah along the side of the targeted window is the biggest visual clue that it's a Jewish establishment.

One regular patron came out to support Wednesday, calling the attack very upsetting.

"It made us feel very reminiscent of Kristallnacht in the '30s," Esther Buterman, a regular patron, told Eyewitness News.

Buterman brought students from the Ramaz school where she works to show their support.

She says if the vandals want to scare anyone, it won't work.

"We're not going to let this discourage us," she said.

The NYPD says it has notified the hate crimes task force. The owner says he's been a New Yorker for more than 2 decades, supports the right to protest peacefully, and will not feel at all intimidated.


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