NEW YORK - A 29-year-old Jewish man beaten senselessly during a pro-Israel and pro-Palestine clash in Times Square said the assault was 'inhumane' and is calling for ‘peace’ between both sides.
Joseph Borgen was taken to Bellevue Hospital overnight. He spoke with FOX 5 News moments after he was released Friday morning.
"They were using their fists," said Borgen. "They were kicking me, punching me, kicking me all over my body. I have bruises on my ribs, my back, all over. My wrist is killing me. I was just guarding my head. My wrist is sprained or something. I got a slight concussion."
The assault Thursday evening was captured on a video. It shows a group of 5-6 men violently beat Borgen as he lay in the middle of the street.
"I saw a video after, some guys were using wood poles at the end of the flags, crutches, etc., things like that. Honestly, I was just cowering, just making sure I would survive," said Borgen.
Two 23-year-old men were arrested in the area of 47th St. and Broadway in connection with the assault on Borgen, said police. The NYPD Hate Crimes Unit said it was searching for the remaining assailants.
In total, 26 people were taken into custody during the melee. Charges included obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct, and criminal possession of a weapon.
"Yesterday was just like the hate in these people's eyes. I don't say ‘these people'- the hate of the people who attacked me, in their eyes, it's just amazing to me. To pepper spray and Mace someone on the ground for like a minute or two after the fact, who even comes up with something like that? It's just so inhumane," said Borgen.
The protest erupted after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office announced a cease-fire to halt an 11-day military operation against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The fighting, the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence since 2014, killed at least 219 Palestinians and 12 people in Israel.
"My message would just be- everyone get along. We all want peace. We all want the same thing. That, what happened yesterday, is not the answer to anyone's problems. Regardless of what skin color you are, what race you are, what ethnicity, what religion. It's just wrong on so many levels."