Third suspect arrested in Black Friday mall assaults

Florend Gjevukaj
Florend Gjevukaj

WEST NYACK – A third and final suspect connected to a string of unprovoked assaults on Black Friday shoppers at the Palisades Mall has been brought into custody by the Clarkstown Detective Bureau.

Florend Gjevukaj, 18, of Yonkers, NY, was arrested today and charged with assault as a hate crime, a third degree felony. With this third arrest, the hunt for suspects-pursued partly through social media appeals by Clarkstown Police-has all but ended.

“There are no other suspects in this case,” Clarkstown Police stated in a Monday release. “The Clarkstown Police Department would like to thank the media and the public for their assistance helping identify the suspects.”

Gjevukaj is suspected in three separate assaults between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. on Black Friday. The attacks resulted in injuries to all five victims, including bruises, lacerations which required stitches and a broken wrist.

According to Clarkstown Police, the attacks appeared to be unprovoked and random. Anti-Jewish slurs were directed toward at least one of the victims, prompting the inclusion of hate crime charges.

Shortly after the incident, police reached a dead end in their investigation and opted to release security footage of three suspects in hopes that somebody on social media might be able to identify them.

The appeal seemed to work. On December 15, the Clarkstown Detective Bureau  arrested Chris Bujaj, 17, of Tuckahoe, NY and Ardijan Mehaj, 17, of Yonkers, NY in connection to the crimes.

Bujaj and Ardjian were charged with third degree assault as a hate crime, a felony, and third degree assault, a misdemeanor. All three suspects have been remanded to the Rockland County Jail with bail set at $25,000 each.

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