Teen accused of anti-Semitic attack could go back to jail

Prosecutors say the Ponte Vedra teenager accused of assaulting Jewish teenagers with a weapon “continued illegal activities” while on bail.

ST. JONES COUNTY, Florida. A Ponte Vedra teenager accused of last October’s anti-Semitic attack could be sent back to jail after prosecutors asked a judge to revoke his bail.

Noah Amato, 18, is accused of assaulting a group of Jewish teenagers dressed in religious robes after calling them anti-Semitic slurs. He pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated battery and aggravated assault.

The incident took place last October and Amato was not arrested until May 16th. Four days later, court records show he injured someone who was riding a motorcycle without a license. Prosecutors say he violated the terms of his pre-trial detention.

“In connection with the defendant’s continued illegal activities, while on bail, the state calls on the court to revoke the defendant’s bail in this case,” the petition says.

According to his October arrest report, Amato called a teenager dressed for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot a “Jewish bastard,” then pulled out a pistol that struck the victim in the face, discharging the weapon, causing burns to the victim’s face.

The teen’s uncle, Rabbi Nochum Kurinsky, director of Chabad Beaches, disputes this account. He says his nephew, along with his two sons and a friend, was walking along Solana Road near A1A when two teenagers on bicycles passed by, one of whom shouted insults.

“He shouted something anti-Semitic and, without hesitation, he was going to shoot someone in the face right in Ponte Vedra,” said Kurinsky.

He believes that Amato fired on purpose, not by accident, and says the bullet grazed his nephew’s face. He and the victim’s family want the incident to be charged with a hate crime.

“I would like to see charges and I would like to see maximum charges,” Kurinsky said in an interview with First Coast News earlier this month.

The State Attorney’s Office has previously stated that no hate crime charges have been filed. In a statement, Amato’s attorney said, “Noah has not been charged with a hate crime and we are focused on reviewing the reopening of the state and preparing Noah’s defense against the current charges.”

In response to a recent motion to revoke the bond, Amato’s lawyer Tim Pribisco said the state was aware of Amato’s May 20 motorcycle ticket, but did not initially push for the revoke of the bond and was, in fact, satisfied with the fact that he had a “motorcycle learning card.”

Citing a “significant delay,” Pribisco noted that the state did not take action to revoke the bond until July 10 (five days after First Coast News first reported the story).

Pribisco has requested a hearing on the matter, but a date has yet to be set.

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