Canadian Cafe Owners Accused Of Fake Hate Crime

Alexander; Oxana, and Maxim Berent were arrested on Wednesday, charged with public mischief and faking a hate crime after reporting an attack at their cafe the week prior. On April 18th a report was made that vandals spraypainted the BerMax Caffé and Bistro with swastikas as well as smashed dishes, overturned tables and even assaulted Oxana Berent. The assault was said to occur while Alexander and Maxim were out of the cafe and returned to find Oxana laying on the floor with her clothes ripped. She was taken to the hospital where she was released afterwards with no serious injuries. This was the fourth reported attack in 4 months and on the eve of Passover, Adam Levy, the communications director of the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg called this one “The most brazen act of anti-Semitism that we’ve seen in our community, and perhaps ever”. A fundraiser was created immediately and an interfaith community vigil was planned, all of which chnaged after video and forensic`s evidence showed no one else was present at the time of the attack. Aside form the arrest and upcoming court cases, the Berent`s have also had their lease for the cafe terminated. In an interview on a Canadian radio show prior to the arrest Oxana said about the possibility of faking the attack- “I didn’t fake,” “I will tell you something, okay? So I [hadn’t been] in the restaurant yet, but they say there were swastikas on the walls. You have to have this in your family to understand. All my grandmother’s family died in the Holocaust. Just her and her little brother survived. We don’t joke about that. . . . We don’t joke about swastikas on our walls.”

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