Saturday, February 17, 2007

Eric Hunt, Suspected Attacker Of Holocaust Propagandist Elie Wiesel, Arrested In New Jersey

Apparently it wasn't a spoof, as Ziopedia webmaster Andrew Winkler thought. There is indeed an Eric Hunt, and he was arrested in New Jersey today (February 17th, 2007). Primary source is a story from the San Francisco Examiner, with an even more detailed report from Robert Lindsay's blog.

The 22-year old Hunt, who hails from Sussex County, N.J., and who is accused of roughing up Nobel laureate and Holocaust propagandist Elie Wiesel (pictured at left courtesy of Santa Clara University) at a San Francisco hotel earlier this month, was arrested by Montgomery Township (NJ) police at 1:30 p.m. EST Saturday at the Carrier Clinic, a psychiatric and addiction treatment center, according to police spokesman Sgt. Guy Fillebrown. He faces charges that include attempted kidnapping, false imprisonment, elder abuse, stalking, battery and the commission of a hate crime, according to San Francisco police. While early media reports indicated that Hunt was being held without bail in the Somerset County Jail in New Jersey, awaiting extradition to San Francisco, subsequent reports from Reuters indicate that San Francisco police have now set bail at $500,000. It is not known at this time if Hunt has retained an attorney.

Wiesel, 78, was a featured speaker at the RockRose Institute’s World Conference 2007, "Facing Violence", which addressed justice, religion and conflict resolution, according to its press release. The conference included former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Juan Mendez, adviser to the U.N. secretary-general, in its list of speakers. According to San Francisco police, he was approached in the lobby of the Argent Hotel by a white man in his 20s who asked for an interview. While Wiesel agreed to talk in the lobby, the suspect insisted the interview be conducted in a hotel room, and got into the elevator with Wiesel. Once on the sixth floor, the suspect allegedly dragged Wiesel from the elevator. After Wiesel began yelling, the suspect ran away down the elevator.

Police have said they were aware that a man identified as Eric Hunt claimed responsibility for the attack in a posting on the Ziopedia website registered in Australia. Jewish supremacists subsequently attacked the website and knocked it off-line for 24 hours. PayPal then stabbed Ziopedia administrator Andrew Winkler in the back by cancelling his account. In addition, Hunt created a blog on which he posted the same account of the attack that was posted on Ziopedia.

San Francisco police Lt. Dan Mahoney said he doesn't believe Hunt belonged to a larger organization. "He is a lone wolf and not part of an organization or group," he said.

Wiesel couldn't immediately be reached for comment Saturday at Boston University, where he teaches, or through his institute in New York. But on Monday, Wiesel told an Italian newspaper that during the assault he feared for his life for the first time since World War II. He urged countries to take a harsher stance against those who argue that millions of Jews did not die at the hands of the Nazis."My incident shows a global trend," Wiesel told the Milan, Italy-based daily Corriere della Sera. "If society doesn't act immediately against these individuals, it will end up encouraging others to do the same."

Jonathan Bernstein, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in Northern California, said Hunt's brazen attack shows that Holocaust deniers are becoming emboldened by statements from well-known people such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."(Wiesel) is a moral icon for all of us and knows how to turn hatred into love," Bernstein said. "I am very pleased the district attorney is prosecuting this as a hate crime."

Commentary: Hate into "love"? The statements by Wiesel and Bernstein don't show a lot of "love". Instead, they reek of vengeance. Wiesel, in particular, is calling for harsher measures against those who legitimately dispute the Official Authorized Version of the Holocaust.

And consider all the charges being dumped on Hunt. Attempted kidnapping, false imprisonment, elder abuse, stalking, battery, and the commission of a hate crime? You've got to be kidding! They're treating him like a terrorist. At worst, Hunt should be charged with battery or communicating a terroristic threat. This guy could be the next David Lane.

Of course, Hunt did not help his cause by posting the account of his deed on Ziopedia and his own blog. His story was soon cross-posted all over the web, including the Vanguard News Network Forum. It will be difficult for him to mount a defense. I wish him luck - unfortunately, that's about all he'll have going for him.


Al S. E. said...

President Ahmadinejad's views are summarized on this website:

Robert Lindsay said...

I agree, he should have just been charged with battery. Those charges are preposterous. Hell, my family members get in much worse tussles than that and no one ever presses charges.

The guy does seem mentally unstable though.