BAL HARBOUR, Fla. – A family from New Jersey was recently the victim of a group of menacing men who allegedly engaged in a relentless anti-Semitic attack in Bal Harbour.
Eric Orgen said he, his wife, and his 16-year-old daughter had just left a synagogue in the area and were walking on the sidewalk near the intersection of Collins Avenue and Harbour Way.
Four men who appeared to be in their 20s shouted and threw garbage at them from a white sports utility vehicle. Their rant focused on the Israel-Hamas conflict: “Free Palestine!” “[Expletive] the Jews!” “Die Jew!”
“They yelled they were going to rape my wife and rape my daughter,” Orgen said.
A driver who witnessed the attack decided to defend them. He was armed with a gun and when the men drove away he chased them, Orgen said.
They reported the incident to local law enforcement. Orgen said his daughter is back home safe in New Jersey, but she is still a bit shocked and confused.
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava released a statement after hearing about the Orgen family’s traumatic experience.
Levine Cava was also outraged about Joseph Bounds, 33, of Colorado, who drove a van with Nazi symbols and slurs, including “Hitler was right,” in front of pro-Israel demonstrators in Miami.
“As a member of the Jewish community and the first Jewish mayor of Miami-Dade, acts of antisemitism in our county cut especially close to home,” Levine Cava said.
Officers arrested Bounds, but Miami-Dade prosecutors dropped the case against him. Detectives said Bounds is a member of a California-based group of anti-Semitic provocateurs who travel around the country.
Bal Harbour Police Department detectives are working with other local police departments in an effort to find the men who attacked the Orgen family. Bal Harbour Mayor Gabriel Groisman wrote he was confident they were going to track down the perpetrators.
Detectives are asking anyone with information to call Bal Harbour police officers at 305-866-5000 or Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.