After leading two violent protests against COVID-19 restrictions in Boro Park on Wednesday and Thursday, October 7 and 8, Harold ‘Heshy’ Tischler was taken into custody Sunday night outside of his home. Tischler is a City Council candidate to represent District 48 in 2021 local elections, not his first run for office, and has served time in jail for immigration fraud.
Cops arrested Tischler on Sunday, Oct. 11, and charged him with inciting to riot and unlawful imprisonment in connection with the assault of Jacob Kornbluh, a Hasidic journalist for Jewish Insider that occurred on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
News of the arrest led to Tischler’s supporters gathering outside of Kornbluh’s home in Boro Park and threatening him, which Tischler instigated prior to his arrest by Tweeting his address in a post that has since been removed. Police were brought in and stood in front of Kornbluh’s apartment building.
A mob is forming, instigated by Heshy Tischler (from before he was arrested) and his supporters, outside of @jacobkornbluh’s home.
Jacob was the victim of assault by this man’s mob, which is why Tischler is in jail.
— Elad Nehorai (@PopChassid) October 12, 2020
A tweet from Tischler’s Twitter account – one of many – shows a large group of people shouting and threatening the journalist. Over a bullhorn, you can hear someone say, “good morning Jacob, we’re all waiting for you.”
“Journalists of integrity are imperative for our communities to stay accurately informed and make decisions based on facts,” said Amber Adler, who’s running for City Council District 48 to replace Deutsch. “By sharing that journalists address, my opponent used an intimidation tactic to try to silence a reporter that exposed the violence that he incited.”
After Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new coronavirus restrictions after recent COVID-19 spikes, protests sparked in Boro Park, being led by Tischler, resulting in violence not only towards Kornbluh, but another Orthodox man who opposed the anti-mask crowd.
Tischler tweeted a video as the cops showed up to his residence claiming he made a deal with the NYPD to be arrested on Tuesday.
“You’re coming to arrest me now, I called and even spoke to the chief and they tricked me,” he said in the video. “They are telling everybody that I was supposed to be arrested tomorrow.”
Breaking: Hero Heshy Tischler being arrested. pic.twitter.com/A8GGMIYdkX
— Heshy Tischler #FreeHeshy (@HeshyTischler) October 12, 2020
Although witnesses and videos of both attacks were shared widely online, no arrests or summons were made during either night of protesting.
“Many community members were surprised that he was given the privilege of being able to turn himself in,” Ms. Adler said. “However, few were surprised that he was taken in by police on Sunday night after he called for his followers to come to the precinct and protests his arrest.”
The Brooklyn District Attorney and NYPD did not respond to questions clarifying the alleged deal made between the NYPD and Tischler.
Hours ago Tischler’s legal team from T.O.T Private Consulting, tweeted an update regarding his case. His lawyers claim he is not guilty and will be pleading not guilty, continuing to say this is a political stunt.
“They are completely false charges,” his legal team said. “Our legal team is going to be defending him zealously and we will be working around the clock.”
The Brooklyn DA spokesperson, Oren Yaniv, said Tischler is being arraigned later today or this evening.
“A loose cannon is a threat to community safety,” Ms. Adler said. “There is no place for hate.”
This story has been updated at 7:45 p.m. to reflect that Mr. Tischler was charged with unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, inciting to riot, menacing in the third degree and harassment in the second degree and was released without bail, according to Oren Yaniv, The Brooklyn DA spokesperson.
Tischler is due back in court on April 27, 2021.