BROOKLYN: Gay-Bashing Victim Sues Ultra-Orthodox Street Patrol Members

The Brooklyn gay man who was brutally beaten by a gang of Hasidic thugs has filed a civil lawsuit against his attackers.

Taj Patterson, 22, suffered a fractured eye socket, torn retina and multiple contusions from the Dec. 1 beatdown in Williamsburg by as many as a dozen ultra-Orthodox vigilantes who were looking for a suspect who had vandalized cars in the area. Patterson, a fashion student at New York City College of Technology, is suing the five men indicted on gang assault charges. “The family wants justice for Taj both criminally and civilly,” said his lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein. The suit, filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court, seeks unspecified damages for Patterson’s injuries and accuses the volunteer safety patrol of negligence. “There’s more to this than meets the eye,” said George Farkas, the lawyer for defendant Abraham Winkler, whom sources have identified as a Shomrim member.

The attackers were arrested in April.

RELATED: The Shomrim and a splinter group, the Shmira, are
“public safety” groups that aggressively patrol the Hasidic
neighborhoods of Brooklyn with a fleet of official looking vehicles, some of which resemble NYPD patrol cars. Members of both groups, who reportedly hate each other, have been charged with assaulting black residents of Brooklyn. One of the Shomrim members arrested in April was also arrested in 2012
for taking courtroom photographs of a child molestation victim in order
to intimidate her as she testified against a Hasidic leader. Her
attacker, who was later sentenced to 103 years in prison, sat on his sect’s “modesty committee,” which
enforces strict rules of dress and behavior for female members.