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Bergen chef charged with assault has been beaten up in New York jail, lawyers say

A former Teaneck restaurateur jailed last week on assault charges was attacked and injured by fellow inmates at New York City’s Rikers Island prison, his lawyers said.

Shalom Yehudiel, 41, was arrested Aug. 8 at John F. Kennedy International Airport while attempting a one-way flight to Bangkok, according to the Union County prosecutor’s office. A day later, the office filed suit against him for allegedly assaulting a minor in Bergen County.

The arrest came a day after a Bergen County judge dismissed another sexual assault charge against the former chef because the FBI failed to turn over a disputed video in the case.

In a motion to dismiss the new charges filed Tuesday in the state’s Superior Court, Yehudiel’s lawyers said their client was assaulted Friday in Rikers, where he is being held pending extradition to New Jersey .

“He can’t move his arm and as of Sunday, August 13, he was still vomiting blood,” the motion filed by attorneys Lee Vartan and Zach Intrater said.

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“Despite the best efforts of his family and his counsel, he was not taken for X-rays. Even with a note from a doctor, Yehudiel’s jailers have denied him proper medical care. He is in the midst of a nightmare – one that is completely preventable was. , and that is utterly unjust.”

“He was attacked by another prisoner, who broke his arm. He was not given proper medical treatment,” Vartan told a reporter on Wednesday morning.

The alleged attack was first reported by NJ.com.

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Yehudiel, of Fair Lawn, built a following after appearing on the Food Network show “Chopped” in 2020, where he was the first kosher chef of the competition. But since then he has been dogged by allegations of sexual harassment. Under a cloud, he completed the sale of his two Teaneck restaurants, Humble Toast and La Cucina di Nava, last year.

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He has maintained his innocence in the assault cases. Tuesday’s motion noted that the Bergen County Attorney’s Office declined to press charges in the second case against him, which allegedly involved a teenage victim in Fair Lawn.

The case is being heard by Union County because the prosecutor sued the Bergen prosecutor for failing to prosecute the charges, creating a conflict of interest.

Assistant Union County prosecutor Michael Sheets said in an email Wednesday that his office has “no specific information” to offer about the Yehudiel case or the alleged prison attack. A Rikers Island spokesperson did not immediately return messages requesting comment.

Staff writer Kaitlyn Kanzler contributed to this article.

Deena Yellin covers religion for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to her work on how the spiritual intersects our daily lives, subscribe today or activate your digital account.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @deenayellin

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Chef Shalom Yehudiel attacked in New York prison after assault allegations

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