23-year-old Taj Patterson was out walking after attending a party in Williamsburg, NY last December when he was surrounded by at least a dozen white men identified as Hasidic Jews who belong to the vigilante group Shomrim, a neighborhood patrol made up of volunteers.
Patterson was beaten, knocked to the ground and stomped, which led to a broken eye socket and contusions. The attack only stopped when witnesses, including a bus driver stopped to help Patterson. The crime was originally investigated as a hate crime as Patterson who is reportedly gay, said the men hurled homophobic slurs at him during the attack.
Only five men out of the dozen have been charged with a gang assault and each could face up to 25 years in prison.