Arrest after driver allegedly shouts racist abuse during religious procession

A man has been arrested after shouting racial abuse during a religious procession

A man has been arrested after shouting racial abuse during a religious procession - Credit: Archant

Jewish people taking part in a religious procession claimed they were forced off the road by a driver shouting racist abuse.

The incident happened as around 1,000 people took part in the Torah dedication ceremony in which worshipers walked froom from Heathland Road to Viznitz Synagogue in Stamford Hill on Sunday, June 16.

It is claimed that a man in a green car started driving behind them and forcing them onto the pavement, whilst shouting abuse.

Witness Meir Taub, of Stamford Hill, said: “While we were walking along Dunsmure Road which was closed to traffic, we had hundreds of men, women and children on the road. This car started driving erratically and recklessly and the driver was continually shouting.

“He drove past me and I had to concentrate on not being driven over. I was walking with two kids, and my wife had two of my kids. I literally had to lift the kids up off the road and run away from the scene.

“I heard him shouting but didn’t clearly hear what he said.

“A non-Jewish man was taking pictures of what was going on and he tried to protect the kids with his bike. The driver drove into him and other people – sending them flying. He then drove off.

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“My children, who are aged two to seven, were traumatised all night and were crying. It put a dampener on the evening and they are still worried about the incident.”

Rachel Hockhauser, of Stamford Hill, who also attended the procession, said: “The road was closed off and he drove into people, just pushing them onto the pavement and shouting racist abuse”.

A Met Police spokesman said: “We were called at 6.10pm on that day in connection to reports of a collision of a car with a bike.

“The driver of the car was also accused of driving at members of the Jewish community who were taking part in a large procession in the area.

“A 24-year-old man was subsequently arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offences. He has been bailed to return to a North London police station on July 16. Police enquiries are continuing.”

The Torah dedication ceremony, which involves the dedication of a hand-written scroll to someone, was commissioned by a Stamford Hill man to his dead wife. The Torah is copied by hand in a process which takes approximately two years.