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Man Assaulted in Boulder Bar for Refusing to Remove Yarmulke

A Jewish man was an alleged target in an assault at Boulder's Sundown Saloon

Sundown Saloon - Pearl Street Mall, Boulder
Sundown Saloon - Pearl Street Mall, Boulder
Paul Aiken / Daily Camera

Boulder police are calling a December 19 assault on Seth Fineman a targeted and motivated assault. Two men assaulted the Jewish man when he refused to remove his yarmulke inside the Pearl Street bar. The Daily Camera reported the Anti-Defamation League's response to the assault: "We strongly condemn this appalling assault in which a Jewish man was allegedly targeted because of his religion," Scott L. Levin, the ADL's mountain states regional director, said in a statement.

The night of the assault Seth Fineman and a friend got into a friendly conversation with three men about Fineman and his friend's trip to Israel. The conversation came to a close and the three men left. Fineman told Boulder police that two of the men returned to Sundown Saloon, asked him to remove his yarmulke and that is when one suspect, Jamsheed Tayefeh, hit Fineman in the head with a pint glass. In addition, there is video evidence of a second suspect, Yotam Monjack, kicking Fineman while on the ground. Fineman was taken to a local hospital and recieved 20 stitches.

Tayefeh's attorney argues the ADL's statement, stating that the second suspect, Monjack, is an Israeli Jew and the hate-crime charges are not justified. Tayefeh's attorney states that though his client is not Jewish, many of his close relationships are with Jewish people.

Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett stated that just because one of the suspects is affiliated with the same religious or ethnic group, does not mean the defendant is clear of hate-crime charges. Garnett stated:

"There is no automatic disqualifier that hate crimes cannot occur between people of the same religious group or ethnic group."

The ADL commented further on issues regarding the community. They stated that a violent hate crime not only affects the victim directly, but can result in other members of the affected group to feel uneasy. Tayefeh will have a preliminary hearing on Febraury 9, while Monjack will have formal filing of charges on January 23.

By Alexandria Arroyo

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