Detective questions suspect after attack on Jewish UCF student at neo-Nazi rally
ORANGE COUNTY, Florida. – Months after the arrest of three men accused of attacking a Jewish victim at a Nazi rally in Orange County, the sheriff’s office released a video interview with one of the suspects.
Joshua Terrell, 46; Jason Brown, 47; and Burt Colucci, 45, the leader of the National Socialist Movement, the Kissimmee-based hate group behind the rally, according to the Anti-Defamation League, were arrested in February after the neo-Nazi rally held on 29 January near Alafaya Trail. and Waterford Lakes Parkway turned violent, deputies said.
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Terrell then spoke to a detective, insisting he was not involved in “any hate crime”, after he and two other members of the Nazi group punched, pepper sprayed and stole the phone of the Jewish victim, a student from the University of Central Florida, who was driving by the rally.
The victim told investigators as he drove past, one of the Nazi group’s members, Colucci, spat into the sunroof of his car, prompting the victim to get out of the vehicle and argue with the group, posting a Star of David charm. on his necklace announcing that he was a Jew.
“He stopped his car in the middle of traffic, showed his emblem,” Terrell said, “(He showed) a Jewish star. David’s star. He took it out and said, “I’m Jewish. He started making a big deal out of it. »
Later in the interview, he said he only remembered seeing the victim’s Star of David while watching a video of the incident on his cell phone.
The self-identified Nazi said he held and waved a flag at the rally before going to ‘detain’ the victim after hearing second-hand reports that the victim was attacking a 74-year-old protester, known to the others group members as “Grandfather.”
“I felt like I needed to help because he was trying to take off. He was trying to get in his car and drive away after he assaulted (grandfather),” he said. “There was no hate crime there. I was minding my own business until one of my people got mugged. My objective was to hold (the victim), not to let him leave the scene.
It was then that Terrell engaged in a shoving match with the victim, hitting him repeatedly, before other members of the Nazi mob joined in, pepper spraying and punching. the victim, MPs said.
Investigators said cellphone video of the scene showed the Nazi members shouting anti-Semitic slurs at the victim throughout the beating. Tapes show Terrell was also filmed bragging about hitting the victim during the encounter.
After seeing the video of the incident, Terrell told the detective during the interview that he was the one who was in danger, the one who was spat on and who was in danger of being shot because he was a Nazi. . Terrell also said he was trying to protect the former Nazi band member.
“I wouldn’t let anyone walk away assaulting a 70-year-old man,” Terrell said. “It wouldn’t matter… Black, white, yellow, green. I will not do it.
When asked by the detective if he had “anti-Jewish sentiment”, Terrell denied any anti-Semitic tendencies.
“No, I’ve never even dealt with Jews. I spent most of my life in prison,” he said. “I am educated. Almost everything in this country belongs to the Jews. They own the banking system.
Brown, who faces charges of stealing and destroying the Jewish student’s cellphone, declined to speak to a detective, saying, “I have no idea what I did.”
Keith Dvorchik, CEO of the Roth Family Jewish Community Center in Maitland and executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando, called the video “sad.”
“It’s no different from the (racist) manifesto (allegedly written by 18-year-old shooting suspect Payton Gendron) in Buffalo, it’s no different from people attacking African-American churches or Asians, everything is based on the same hate, it’s all based on you being different from me,” Dvorchik said. “Whether it’s Jews, whether it’s the LGBTQ community, the African-American community, the Asian community or the Muslim community, it doesn’t really matter. It’s about ‘They’re different from me, so I have to hate them.’
Dvorchik said he was sad that Terrell, who admitted in the detective’s interview that he knew nothing about Jews, traveled to Orlando for an anti-Semitic rally to hold a flag that represents hatred of Jews .
“We should get to know each other and learn from each other,” Dvorchikl said. “That doesn’t mean I have to be right and you’re wrong. We can just be different. We need leadership to step up and truly lead us in unity. And stop trying to beat yourself up. And stop trying to be right.
An interview with Colucci, who faces battery charges for spitting at the Jewish student, was not provided by the sheriff’s office.
It comes as a slew of other anti-Semitic attacks and incidents are being investigated by law enforcement officials across central Florida, the most recent of which involves spray-painted Nazi graffiti. on a house in Ormond Beach.
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