A Palestinian-rights activist is facing a new hate crime charge stemming from an altercation that left Kings Bay Y director Leonard Petlakh with a broken nose following a protest at an Israeli exhibition basketball game at the Barclays Center last October. Eight months later, a grand jury has agreed with Brooklyn prosecutors' call to add a hate crime enhancement to the assault charge against Shawn Schraeder, as JP Updates first reported, making it a felony. Schraeder writes articles and tweets from protests using the pseudonym Shawn Carrié.

CBS2 reported that the grand jury decided there was probable cause to bring the charges on Thursday. Petlakh's lawyer, former Sheepshead Bay councilman Lew Fidler, said in a statement that the attack "was obviously the result of Mr. Schrader’s hatred of all things Jewish." He continued:

"Leonard was attacked, punched in his face in front of his children, because he was Jewish. There can be no other conclusion and we are sure that the elements of the charge will be proven in a court of law."

The assault that sent Petlakh to the hospital followed a confrontation between protesters and crowd members inside the game between the Maccabi Tel Aviv team and the Nets. The protesters chanted and waved banners calling for a boycott of Israeli goods because of human rights violations by the country, and at one point a man who they claimed was with Petlakh snatched a Palestinian flag from Nerdeen Kiswani, a Hunter College student. Security kicked out both groups and the face-off continued outside, ending with the attack on Petlakh, according to a Brooklyn Paper report.

Detectives followed Schraeder to St. Louis, Missouri, where he was part of protests against the killing of Michael Brown, and arrested him there a week later on charges of misdemeanor assault and harassment, a violation, the Daily News reported. Schraeder pleaded not guilty and a judge issued an order of protection against him, court records show. At that point, the group NYC Solidarity with Palestine claimed Kiswani had been hit by a member of Petlakh's group during the flag-stealing, and that it constituted a hate crime. But video of the theft didn't show a punch.

The assault charge carried a maximum prison sentence of a year. With the hate-crime modifier, it carries as many as four years, according to a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office. In a Twitter exchange last November, Schraeder argued for Brown's shooting death to be considered a hate crime.

In 2013, the city paid $82,000 to settle a suit by Schraeder alleging cops beat him bloody during an Occupy Wall Street protest.

Update 3:20 pm:

Statement added from Leonard Petlakh's attorney.

Update June 22nd:

Jezebel reporter Anna Merlan recently participated in a panel on "The Future of Journalism" organized by Schraeder for the group Young Journalists NYC. She had this to say:

I heard about that arrest when it happened and I'm frankly shocked to hear that Shawn would be charged with a hate crime. I've had many interactions with him at protests, covering Cecily McMillan's case, at the panel he put together, and he always comes across as a polite, measured, thoughtful man. It is very, very difficult for me to imagine him attacking someone unprovoked, much less attacking someone unprovoked because that person is Jewish. I don't think we're getting the full story here and I look forward to Shawn getting his day in court.