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Lyft Driver Assaulted Passenger at San Francisco Airport Because He Believed the Victim Was Jewish in Apparent Hate Crime

Lyft Driver Assaulted Passenger at San Francisco Airport Because He Believed the Victim Was Jewish in Apparent Hate Crime

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A former Lyft driver allegedly assaulted a passenger at San Francisco International Airport because he believed the victim was Jewish, prosecutors in Northern California have alleged.

39-year-old Csaba John Csukás has been indicted with a federal hate crime following the October 26, 2023, assault, which resulted in the victim having to be rushed to the hospital with minor injuries.

The assault came just weeks after Hamas launched a major terror attack on Southern Israel. The day after the assault, Israel started its major ground offensive in Gaza.

Prosecutors claim Csukás carried out his ‘violent’ and ‘hate-fueled’ attack on the victim simply because he thought the victim was Jewish or Israeli.

The ‘senseless and brutal’ assault occurred after the victim requested a ride from San Francisco Airport through the Lyft app, which Csukás accepted. When Csukás met the victim at the designated pick-up point, he asked the victim if he was Jewish or Israeli.

He then said he wouldn’t transport someone who is Jewish before allegedly striking the victim in the face with his fist.

“No one in this country should live in fear because of how they worship or where they come from,” commented Attorney General Merrick B. Garland after the indictment was unsealed.

“The Justice Department will aggressively prosecute those who perpetrate hate-fueled violence motivated by antisemitism or by bias of any kind,” Garland continued.

If found guilty, Csukás faces a maximum sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment plus a fine of up to $250,000. Csukás made his initial appearance in a federal court on Wednesday.

Csukás no longer works for Lyft, but in a statement, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing app said that it “unequivocally condemns antisemitism and all other forms of discrimination on the basis of religion or country of origin”.

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