The family of a Jewish man badly beaten by a group during a pro-Israel rally in Midtown blasted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Thursday for offering a cushy plea deal to one of the accused anti-Semitic attackers.
“It’s disgusting how Mr. Bragg calls himself a crime fighter, the man does nothing,” Joseph Borgen’s father, Barry Borgen, told The Post Thursday outside Manhattan Criminal Court.
“He offered people who tried to kill my son six months in jail, one guy to walk away because maybe he hit him once. It is a hate crime.”
Bragg offered a six-month plea bargain to Waseem Awawdeh, 24, who allegedly joined in the May 20, 2021 assault with several others — and defiantly said “I would do it again” after his arrest.
Joseph Borgen, 30, was wearing a yarmulke as he walked to a pro-Israel rally near Broadway and West 49th Street when he was jumped, beaten and pepper-sprayed.
At the time, Borgen, an Upper East Side accountant, said his attackers called him a “dirty Jew” and yelled “F–k Israel, Hamas is going to kill all of you.”
Barry Borgen said Bragg “does nothing” despite calling himself a crime fighter.John Nacion/Shutterstock
Awawdeh, a Brooklyn resident, and three Staten Island men, Mahmoud Musa, Faisal Elezzi and Mohammed Othman, were all hit with charges over the attack, including assault as a hate crime and gang assault.
Bragg’s office defended the light sentence earlier this month, telling The Post Awawdeh did not initiate the attack but rather was the sixth person to join and left before it was over.
But at his arraignment prosecutors revealed he had expressed little remorse for the attack.
“If I could do it again, I would do it again,” he allegedly told a jailer following his arrest. “I have no problem doing it again.”
Barry Borgen told The Post that he feared the plea deal offer will only embolden would-be attackers.
“[The light sentence] shows that it’s open season on anybody, be it an Asian, an African-American, Jewish, Muslim,” he said outside the courthouse where Awawdeh had appeared for a hearing.
“It’s basically open season,” the elder Borgen said. “If you can’t prosecute, put people away for a hate crime, I don’t know what else is there besides murder, God forbid. It’s just disgusting, it’s not right.”
The younger Borgen said he still looks over his shoulder since the attack.
“I feel like I have a target on my back sometimes, but it’s getting better and better,” he said.
“I think they’re doing the best job they can do at this point,” he said of the prosecutors. “There is ultimately, hopefully going to be a trial with some if the defendants in this case, however many there are, we’ll see.
Borgen recovers in the hospital recovering from the hate crime.
The 30-year-old was beaten and pepper sprayed during after getting jumped by a group.Rob Bertrand via Storyful
“Hopefully the DA does their job and brings accountability and justice to everyone who deserves it,” he added.
Asked what it was like to face Awawdeh in court, Borgen said, “It’s unsettling.”
In the attack, captured on video, Borgen was knocked to the ground by a group of five or six men who punched, kicked, pepper-sprayed and struck him with crutches.
He suffered a concussion, and was briefly hospitalized after the attack.
Borgen’s alleged assailants are due back in court March 9.