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Man Charged in Mugging of NYPD Rabbi
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Man Charged in Mugging of NYPD Rabbi

Alvin Kass, the department's chief chaplain, was accosted during his early morning walk by a man claiming to be homeless.

NYPD Chief Chaplain Rabbi Alvin Kass receiving the Medal of Honor at the 23rd annual Ellis Island Medals of Honor ceremony and gala on Ellis Island, New York City, May 9, 2009. (George Napolitano/Getty Images)
NYPD Chief Chaplain Rabbi Alvin Kass receiving the Medal of Honor at the 23rd annual Ellis Island Medals of Honor ceremony and gala on Ellis Island, New York City, May 9, 2009. (George Napolitano/Getty Images)

(JTA) — A man believed to be homeless was arrested and charged in the mugging of the New York Police Department’s chief chaplain, Rabbi Alvin Kass.

Rabbi Kass, 84, was taking his daily early morning walk on the city’s Upper West Side Tuesday when he was approached by an individual who told the rabbi that he was hungry and needed food. The mugger pushed the rabbi down and took cash from his pocket, but dropped it and fled when he saw Kass’ police shield, according to the reports.

Rafael Diaz, 39, was taken into custody on Tuesday while in possession of a crack pipe, WABC-TV reported. He was charged with attempted robbery and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

The rabbi, who has served in the NYPD for 54 years, making him its longest-serving officer, told WABC that he would be out walking again.

“I hope to continue to do my walk and go about my routine,” Kass said. “I’m not gonna let some bad actor stop me.”

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