Activist Heshy Tischler was arraigned Monday on charges connected to an attack on journalist Jacob Kornbluh last week.
Tischler faces three misdemeanor charges - second-degree unlawful imprisonment, third-degree menacing, and inciting to riot - as well as a second-degree harassment violation.
He did not enter a plea, and was released without having to post bail, as the chargers were not eligible for bail.
A restraining order was also issued that requires him to stay away from Kornbluh.
His next court date is scheduled for April 27 of next year.
The arraignment was held virtually because of restrictions during the pandemic. Tischler and his lawyers were in the building where the arraignment was held, but they all appeared via Zoom.
One of Tischler's lawyers, Abraham Hoschander, told reporters Monday that the incident has nothing to do with their client and that they cannot control what others do.
"My client cannot control the doings of others," Hoschancer said. "If they gather around his home, that's not my client's affair. If his people gather around my client's home, that's not his affair."
After being released from police custody, Tischer was welcomed home by supporters playing music at the the corner of 17th Avenue and 44th Street.
Supporters say they were excited he was back in Borough Park and did not think he deserved to be taken in.
“He doesn’t represent the community, but he’s a strong voice,” said one resident.
Tischler had told police he would turn himself in Monday, but he was instead arrested Sunday night outside his Borough Park home. He was upset with the timing.
“You see what they’re doing. You see what they’re doing,” he said Sunday night as he was being arrested.
"He had an agreement to go in Monday at 10 a.m.," a demonstrator said, "That agreement was broken up by the cops when they came to his house right after the Jewish holiday finished, put him in handcuffs. That wasn't the agreement that was made."
His supporters rallied outside the 66th police precinct stationhouse later Sunday night.
Police officers cordoned off that area and blocked the entrance to a nearby apartment building.
Hundreds of demonstrators showed up outside the home of Kornbluh, the victim of the attack last Wednesday night police say Tischler instigated.
Police ended up guarding the apartment house for Kornbluh's protection.
The journalist says he was pushed, punched and kicked at one of the demonstrations against Governor Cuomo’s new restrictions in COVID-19 hot spots, like Borough Park, that limit gatherings in Synagogues and Churches and close non-essential businesses.
Kornbluh is the national political reporter for Jewish Insider and came under fire for writing about the coronavirus.
Tischler was sentenced seven years ago to a year and a day in prison for his role in an immigration fraud scheme. Tischler and other demonstrators, many of them supporters of President Trump, believe COVID-19 is not as serious as New York State thinks it is and they argue the increase in positive tests in Borough Park is unfounded.
Immediately before the attack, Tischler pinned Kornbluh against a wall. He can be seen on video yelling at him and spitting on him, calling him a moser. It's a Hebrew word for informant, and in some interpretations of Jewish law, you have license to kill a moser.
Asked the next day if he bore any responsibility for this, Tischler only said "Kornbluh was not touched."
Tischler, who is also a candidate for City Council, could face up to four years in prison for each charge if convicted.