Following the arrest of a 25-year-old man for allegedly shooting a BB gun at a father and son as they left Kosher Island Super Market in Willowbrook, Mayor Eric Adams joined Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon, community leaders, and clergy to denounce the incident. Collectively, the distinguished group at the 121st Precinct in Graniteville also raised their concerns about the rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city.
“A father and son, simply going to the store to buy groceries for their families, like I did the day before in my neighborhood, were shot at by someone who was acting—we believe and we will allege in court—out of hatred,” McMahon said.
“There is no room for hatred in this borough,” McMahon said. “We will continue to fight hatred before it shows its ugly head in a shape of hate crime.”
Jason Kish, the suspect, was acting in a manner injurious to a child under age 17, reckless endangerment and assault, according to a spokesman for the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information. Kish has two prior arrests, police said. Police officials said Tuesday that Kish fired gel pellets while driving in a black Ford Mustang. They struck a 32-year-old man and his seven-year-old son at about 4:20 p.m. on Sunday in front of Kosher Island Market. The NYPD had a visible presence at the store, which remained open Sunday evening, and the department could be seen canvassing the area.
Detective Bureau Chief Michael Baldassano said in regard to the search, Kish was pulled over by two police officers, but later released. In their review of security footage of the incident, along with bodycam footage of the traffic stop, Baldassano said they determined that both Mustangs had the same distinctive marking. Additionally, a member of the community provided Ring camera footage that captured the Mustang minutes after the incident, as well footage of Kish allegedly holding a pellet gun out of his driver-side window. Adams said the arrest resulted from participation of every entity involved, “from the initial call stop that was carried out by the police officer, the detectives doing their investigation, and the everyday citizens who stated that we’re not going to accept hate.”
Adams also stressed the impact of the incident. “No severe injury, but emotionally, the severity is real,” he said. “That young man may never walk that street again without thinking about that incident.”
The mayor reiterated that hates crimes—particularly those fueled by anti-Semitism—are increasing across the entire country—adding that New York City has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel.
Councilman David Carr (R-Mid-Island), Assemblyman Michael Tannousis, and Borough President Vito Fossella, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, and State Senator-elect Jessica Scarcella-Spanton were among the elected officials at the press conference Tuesday.
Mendy Mirocznik, president of the Council of Jewish Organizations remarked, “The Mayor took time from his busy schedule to come to Staten Island and to set the tone that there is no room for anti-Semitism in the City and that he will do all that is in his power to get the message across that these criminal acts are taken seriously and that he will utilize all resources in apprehending and bringing to justice all those involved in these despicable acts. This truly is leadership and when the mayor talks this line it sends a strong message across the city, state, and nation. On behalf of COJO, I thank you Mayor Adams for your strong leadership.”
Scott Maurer, CEO and executive vice-president of COJO and chairman of District Attorney McMahon’s Hate Crime Task Force, stated, “I am proud of our District Attorney. Mike has demonstrated how collaboration between his office and the NYPD leads to safer streets and diminishing hate crimes. Today’s lesson is if you commit a hate crime expect to be held accountable.”