One of the goons who allegedly blasted a Hasidic Jewish mom and her adult son with gel pellets in an alleged hate crime assault in Brooklyn was held on bail Thursday as the other two suspects were sprung on supervised release.
“I have nothing against anybody. I don’t have hate for anyone,” Hernandez pleaded to Judge Dale Fong-Frederick before he was whisked away by court officers.
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The trio are accused of shooting gel pellets with a “SplatRBall gel bead blaster” – similar to an Orbeez gun – at the mom, 47, and her son, 23, as they walked near Kent and Park avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Sunday night, prosecutors allege
Hernandez, Moataz and Watt were allegedly cruising through the area smoking weed in a white Infinity when they came across the mom and son and blasted the pellet gun, causing them pain, prosecutors said.
At the time, the son was wearing traditional Hasidic garb, including a “black hat, a long black coat and long side curls,” prosecutors allege.
“The [victims] were walking on a public street, the defendants were in a vehicle. Hernandez was in the driver’s seat, Watt was in the front passenger seat, and Moataz was in the rear. [The victims were] walking on the street, heard a noise and felt multiple unknown objects strike them about the shoulder and back,” Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Ari Rottenberg said during the arraignment.
“[One of the victims] looked up and observed a white Infinity. It had custom rims, custom grills, black rooftop, and there was a blue light emanating from the vehicle.”
Inside the car, cops found the gel blaster and noted it emanated a blue light and had “several rounds” still in its chamber.
Following the alleged attack, the mom and son called police and later identified the vehicle, which had a suspended registration and was found parked by a fire hydrant, prosecutors said.
Hernandez didn’t give a statement to cops but Moataz told police the trio were riding around in the car “smoking a blunt” and looking for a place to stop and smoke.
“Moataz denied shooting the blaster, but admitted to shooting it on a different night,” Rottenberg said.
Watt also admitted to shooting the gel blaster in the past but not that night, Rottenberg said.
He also told cops that he is Jewish “and can’t be committing a hate crime because the defendant is a real Hebrew,” Rottenberg said.
He noted Hernandez has a prior criminal history, including felony and misdemeanor raps for aggravated harassment and burglary, and has failed to appear in court three times in the past as he asked the judge to hold him on $7,500 bail or a $10,000 bond.
His Legal Aid attorney Laurie Dick said there is no evidence to support the hate crime raps because there was “nothing said” by the suspects “to support a hate crime.”
“There is not a hate crime charge based simply on appearance and garb of complainants,” Dick said.
The license plate of the car identified by the victims didn’t match Hernandez’s car and the officers botched the line up by bringing all three of the suspects together and no one else, Dick argued.
The likelihood that Hernandez will be indicted on the top charge, felony assault as a hate crime, is “extremely slim” and expects he will “receive a full acquittal” the attorney said.
She pointed out Hernandez’s last failure to appear in court was in 2016 and he has since successfully completed probation.
Moataz’s attorney Anthony Baratta said his client is gainfully employed and lives with his parents and siblings as he asked for his client to be released on his own recognizance.
Watt’s attorney didn’t speak during the arraignment but his dad Dorian Watt told The Post his son “didn’t do anything” and is a “good kid.”
“I’m curious about what happened. They don’t have pictures of anybody. All they’re trying to do is to have every black kid on the block have a bad record. I’ve been through it all my life,” the dad said.
“I don’t believe none of that. I work for Jewish people for a long time. I have a lot of Jewish friends, and my son has been around me all my life. I don’t have a problem with anyone. We don’t discriminate against people… I raised my son better [than that].”
The trio will be back in court on Nov. 14.