Man tells city he wants to run over Jews, police investigate

An anti-Semitism watchdog group identified a speaker by the name of Nick Collela who had expressed wishes to run over his Jewish neighbors with his car, according to ABC and The Algemeiner.

His remarks were made at a Planning Board meeting in Haverstraw, Rockland County, New York, last Wednesday. An increase in the Orthodox Jewish population in the area has been reported.

During Collela’s speech, he said that if Orthodox Jews “walked down the street at night, without reflectors, and if he hit them with his vehicle, of course he would run over them again.”

Colella made statements about the local town’s Orthodox population and their custom of walking to Shabbat services, ABC reported.

The Planning Board told him that his time to speak during the meeting was over, but he continued to yell at the other participants involved. Their meeting was about the possibility of building a yeshiva in the area to better reflect the growing Orthodox population in the city.

As a result, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul had the New York State Police Task Force that specifically targets hate crimes to investigate the individual making these anti-Semitic statements.

Hochul, like other lawmakers, condemned the incident, saying that “anti-Semitism, like forms of hatred, is horrible and unacceptable” and that “everyone has the right to walk down the street without fear.”

Lohud reported that state officials are looking at Collela’s statements to see if they can press hate crime charges.

The Rockland County District Attorney’s Office is working with the Haverstraw Police Department and the New York State Attorney to determine the charges against Collela.

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