By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Police have arrested a 35-year-old man for the alleged assault of a senior at a Stuyvesant Town bus stop and for reportedly punching a second person at the end of April.
Konstantin Verbitsky allegedly approached the 82-year-old woman while she was sitting on a bus stop bench at East 14th Street and First Avenue on April 22 around 7 p.m. and reportedly pushed her to the ground without provocation. Police said that while she was on the ground, he also punched her, causing pain and swelling in the victim’s hip, back, neck, knees and shoulder.
Verbitsky was also charged in connection with a second alleged assault that took place at the same corner a few minutes later. Police said that the second victim was at the corner recording something on his phone when Verbitsky allegedly walked up to him and punched him in the face.
Police said that Verbitsky did not know either victim. The suspect was charged in connection with both assaults on Tuesday, May 15 at 8:30 a.m. inside the 13th precinct. Verbitsky’s attorney could not be reached for comment.
By former Assemblymember Steven Sanders
The Middle East is a powder keg. Everybody knows that. Well, almost everybody.
It is a toxic cauldron of grievances dating back centuries. Disputed land, hatred between religions, tribal warfare, ancient cultures and grudges abound. Anybody who wants to try to bring a political settlement to these historic forces must be both very knowledgeable and extremely careful. Too much blood has been spilled, and too many lives already lost in that troubled region of the world.
So Donald Trump’s cavalier attitude towards the political reckoning within the State of Israel and the surrounding Palestinian areas was certain to become incendiary with loss of life the result. Anyone could see that coming. Well, almost anyone.
Sure enough, President Trump made good on a campaign promise to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem against the advice of our European allies and most experienced Middle East diplomats in this country. He did it to satisfy his political base here at home. Did he realize that the fate of Jerusalem is central to any negotiation to arrive at a real peace agreement between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab countries that support the Palestinians? He probably does not, or does not care. After all, it made for good politics at home. The consequence was predictable: violent protests occurred and scores of deaths resulted.