The activist who attacked a prominent Jewish community leader during a Palestinian rights protest at the Barclays Center in 2014 is on the lam in Turkey, according to probation officials.
Shawn Schraeder, 27, was sentenced to two years probation last year after a jury convicted him of assault, menacing, and child endangerment—but not hate crime charges—for punching Kings Bay Y director Leonard Petlakh in the face. Petlakh was with his kids at the time, outside an exhibition basketball game between the Nets and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Petlakh said the blow left him with a broken nose.
The confrontation occurred after security kicked Petlakh and his friends out of the game along with pro-Palestinian protesters. The two sides squared off off when a man stole a Palestinian flag from a protester.
A Department of Probation spokeswoman tells us that Schraeder failed to show up for a probation appointment, and that subsequently the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force concluded that he had fled the country. The Daily News writes that a warrant was issued for his arrest on Friday.
The Twitter bio for a man named Shawn Carrié shows that he is living in Istanbul and working as a features editor for TRT World, an international-facing media outlet owned by the Turkish government. Carrié bears a strong resemblance to Schraeder, the Probation Department believes Carrié is an alias, and two separate news accounts about a "Shawn Schrader" who settled a lawsuit with the city over the NYPD roughing him up during Occupy Wall Street protests identify Carrié as a pseudonym used by "Schrader." But don't tell that to Carrié.
Reached by direct message on Twitter, someone using his account wrote:
Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm too busy working to pay attention to things like this, every day it's a different type of trolling - Frankly I'm not sure why anyone would want to go after me so much to the point that you get assigned to write a story about me
Asked about how two different articles came to mention the pseudonym, one including a photo of him (or a doppleganger), as well as how he came to tweet photos and commentary from the same Barclays Center protest that Schraeder was arrested at, Carrié wrote, "Mistaken identity?"
He went on, "My name is Shawn Carrié. Your report is about Shawn Schrader; I suggest you do a little bit more digging," pointing to the U.S. passport pictured as his Twitter bio photo as proof. The passport bears the name "Shawn Carrie," .
If this is a mistake, it's easy to see how one could make it. For further example, Carrié was reporting on the protests in Ferguson, Missouri around the time that Schraeder was arrested in St. Louis for the assault on Petlakh, and according to a law enforcement source, Petlakh made his initial positive identification of his assailant by comparing photos from Carrié's Facebook page to video from the altercation inside the basketball arena. And yes, now, Schraeder is believed to be a fugitive living in Turkey, while Carrié is living in Istanbul.
TRT World did not respond to a form email asking if the company is aware of the Schraeder probation situation, or how Carrié was vetted.
The United States has an extradition treaty with Turkey.