A quiet vacation day was shattered with midday reports spreading on social media of a man attacking Jews at a local kosher eatery.
Shortly before noon on December 25, the Teaneck Police Department received a call reporting an altercation inside of Sammy's Bagels, located at 1439 Queen Anne Road, in Teaneck. Sammy’s is a combination of three store fronts; it has pizza and bagel counters, with a made-to-order salad bar and an organic coffee and beverage bar between the two. Because of its variety of offerings, it is busy from early morning until evening. It was full of patrons grabbing a quick lunch or a takeout pizza on the day in question.
According to a release by Township Manager Dean Kazinci and Police Chief Glenn O'Reilly: “The preliminary investigation revealed that this person entered the store and confronted two patrons. He engaged in a verbal dispute with the first patron by using an expletive while telling him to take off his hat. He confronted a second patron inside the store using the same language. This second confrontation turned into a shoving match at which time the patron received a scratch to his face. When the suspect exited the store, he made his way to Palisade Avenue where he confronted a third individual. Again, he made the same comment.”
A Yeshiva World News report indicated that the man shouted something like, “the Jews killed my god.” Other witnesses reported that the assailant said, “Take off your effing hat,” using the expletive. Additional eyewitness reports were still forthcoming at press time.
Three victims were treated on the scene for facial trauma, and all were reportedly in good condition.
The suspect fled on foot. A patrol supervisor located the suspect near 1600 Palisade Avenue and recognized him from past encounters. The suspect was reportedly taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
According to the township manager and police chief, the investigation is ongoing and being treated as a bias incident. “Preliminarily, this appears to be an isolated incident. The township will not tolerate any acts of bias and will use all available resources to investigate and prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law,” they told reporters.