The Trump-loving political gadfly who led ugly protests against new COVID-19 restrictions in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood was arrested by the NYPD on Sunday night.
Within hours, new protests sprung up—with crowds massing outside the Brooklyn home of a journalist who was assaulted while covering last week’s demonstrations.
Tischler, an inflammatory figure who uses social media to spread his anti-lockdown message, had boasted that he would walk into the 66th Precinct stationhouse and surrender on Monday.
But on Sunday night, the NYPD Warrant Squad showed up at his home to haul him in. “You see what they’re doing?” he repeatedly yelled to a crowd of neighbors as he was led off in handcuffs.
“They tricked me,” he complained.
Tischler lives in Brooklyn’s Borough Park, one of several communities that have seen dangerous spikes in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to impose new restrictions.
During rowdy protests on the streets, Tischler—who sported a Trump bumper sticker on his shirt—oversaw a bonfire of masks, smeared the mayor’s wife with slurs, and told his crowd of followers, “You are my soldiers! We are at war!”
On Tuesday, Kornbluh, a respected journalist for Jewish Insider, was surrounded by the mob, allegedly at Tischler’s urging.
“Literally hundreds of members of the community tried to beat me up,” Kornbluh told The Daily Beast afterward. “Somebody hit me in the head. I was kicked, dragged, and people were saying I deserved to die... calling me Hitler [and a] Nazi.”
“It took about 10 minutes for the police officers to get me out of the crowd,” he added.
Kornbluh filed an assault complaint, and as the days passed, the question of why Tischler had not been arrested grew louder—particularly after photos showed him posing with police officers after the protests.
In an alarming turn of events, after Tischler’s arrest on Sunday night, scores of his supporters converged on Kornbluh’s Borough Park home and stood outside chanting “No Heshy, No Peace” while police officers formed a barrier so they couldn’t break in.
Tischler claims, with no apparent evidence, that Kornbluh harassed him. “I’ll be going into prison,” he said in his Twitter video on Friday. “I will, of course, be pleading not guilty.”
Tischler’s arrest comes as city officials began enforcing the new COVID rules in earnest. Dozens of summonses with fines totaling more than $150,000 were issued this weekend to houses of worship and businesses in the so-called red zones.