Some of his friends — and his girlfriend — are Jewish, the man accused of bashing an Orthodox Jew in Brooklyn as part of a “knockout game’’ insisted as he was sprung Saturday night on a paltry $750 bail.
“I never hit the guy,” Amrit “Chris’’ Maragh, 28, said after he was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court on charges of misdemeanor assault, menacing and harassment in the attack on Shmuel Perl, 24, early Friday.
Maragh, a barber, has been identified by Perl as the man he heard yapping about the “knockout game” with three pals on a Borough Park street corner and then belted him in the head. Maragh was not charged with a hate crime.
“My girlfriend’s Jewish,” Maragh insisted of an unidentified woman who came to court to wait for his release.
“He has a lot of Jewish friends,” added Dagoberto Hernandez, 38, one of the three friends arrested with Maragh that night, but ultimately not charged.
“None of us touched him,” Hernandez said of Perl. “He was there, and he walked away fast. Less than 10 minutes later, we were arrested.”
There was “no exchange of words whatsoever,” with Perl, Maragh said.
Added another arrested pal, James Santa Cruz, 31: “We don’t play those childish kid games.”