D.C. Police arrest Lyft driver who allegedly assaulted Chabad rabbi, now say it was possible hate crime


WASHINGTON ((JEWISH REVIEW)) — D.C. police have arrested the Lyft driver who allegedly assaulted a Chabad rabbi last weekend, and are now treating the case as a hate crime.

Police on Wednesday arrested Tireek Myrick, 32, in the Jan. 28 assault of Rabbi Menachem Shemtov, the Chabad rabbi at Georgetown University and the scion of a prominent family in the Chabad Lubavitch movement. Myrick was charged with simple assault.

The charging document was updated to classify the investigation as one of a hate crime. In an accompanying release, the Metropolitan Police Department did not outline the evidence that caused them to change the designation.

“The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating this offense as being potentially motivated by hate or bias,” the release said. “The designation can be changed at any point as an investigation proceeds and more information is gathered. A designation as a hate crime by MPD does not mean that prosecutors will prosecute it as a hate crime.”

Shemtov said the driver took him a short distance before asking him to get out of the car because he didn’t like his “energy.”

The charging sheet quoted Shemtov as saying Myrick told him, “I don’t like your energy, it’s throwing me off, your energy offends me.” After Shemtov left the vehicle, Myrick allegedly pursued him and punched him the face multiple times.

The Washington Post on Thursday quoted a separate police affidavit as saying that that Myrick had said “your people” when complaining about “energy.”

In a WhatsApp message, Shemtov told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Myrick had used “people like you” when speaking of energy and that in the subsequent altercation, his kippah fell onto the street and Myrick picked it up, threw it and stopped Shemtov from picking it up.

Myrick was also arrested on a separate burglary charge. Lyft has fired him.