A Brooklyn man was arrested Thursday and booked at the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows for allegedly throwing a stone at a man who was entering a Kew Gardens Hills synagogue in broad daylight on Saturday, May 6.
Kenneth Azogue, 21, of Hart Street in Bushwick, was taken into custody following an investigation by the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force. Azogue was charged with assault as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a weapon.
According to the NYPD, the incident occurred just after 9 a.m. on May 6, when a 23-year-old man was walking to the Bais Yosef D’Ulem synagogue, located in a converted home at 139-19 72nd Rd., just a block east of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, when Azogue was riding in a white van driving past the house of worship and allegedly threw a stone that struck the victim on the leg. The vehicle sped away from the scene traveling westbound on 72nd Road toward 139th Street.
The victim was not injured and refused medical attention at the scene, according to authorities. A surveillance image of the graffiti-covered van was released to the public, but an NYPD spokesman was not able to confirm if it was a tip that led to the arrest of the alleged perpetrator.
The synagogue, known locally as Rabbi Friedman’s Shul, has served the community for over 40 years. The congregation was tested last July when the building was devastated by a fire that tore through the institution. No one was injured in the fire and the sacred scrolls were saved. The synagogue has since been renovated.