Yankel Rosenbaum's brother Norman reacts to Lemrick Nelson stabbing
Rowan Callick • The Australian
THE brother of murdered Australian Yankel Rosenbaum has expressed no surprise that his killer is lying in a coma after being stabbed in the head with an ice pick.
“He is a violent criminal, a dangerous person, a bad guy. It doesn't surprise me that he would get himself into this situation,” said Melbourne lawyer Norman Rosenbaum, speaking for the first time about the attack.
Lemrick Nelson, who killed 29-year-old Yankel Rosenbaum in race riots in New York in 1991, is in an induced coma in a Manhattan hospital after being stabbed in a possible road rage incident.
“Am I going to wish him all the best? Certainly not," said Norman Rosenbaum.
“But my family's pursuit has always been one of justice, not of revenge. We have never indicated in any way a liking for vigilante justice or anything like that.”
Yankel Rosenbaum was killed during the Crown Heights riots in Brooklyn after a seven-year-old African-American boy, Gavin Cato, was knocked down and killed by a driver belonging to the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Lubavitch community.
Nelson, a member of a gang shouting “Get the Jew!” stabbed Rosenbaum, who was visiting from Australia.
Three trials followed, by the end of which Nelson served only one of 10 years for which he was ultimately sentenced, because of the time already spent in prison. He was released in 2004 and has been living in New Jersey.
Norman Rosenbaum said: “I have as much feeling for him as he had for my brother.
“But his being attacked doesn't bring my brother back. I don't condone or advocate violence.”
He said that Nelson “never expressed sincere remorse” for stabbing his brother. “Maybe he will now appreciate the suffering he has caused others. He was also charged with attacking a black man in Georgia with a box cutter.
“That he is now seen as a victim is not going to cause me to revise my thoughts in any way.
“Are there ironies? Yes.”