Man accused in antisemitic rampage could dodge jail time
The man accused of going on an antisemitic rampage at a Bronx nursing home could dodge jail time by instead going to rehab under a plea deal struck on Tuesday.
Alen Califano is accused of barging into a Jewish nursing home in December 2017 terrorizing residents and even repeatedly bashing an 84-year-old man on the head with a fire extinguisher while shouting, “I’m going to kill you, you mother fucking Jew!”
At a Bronx court appearance Tuesday, Judge Nicholas Iacovetta said he wants Califano, who has alcohol and substance abuse problems, to go to an inpatient rehabilitation facility instead of serving jail time.
“Mr. Califano meets the diagnostic criteria … and treatment is appropriate,” Iacovetta said, adding, “An institutional incarceration in a correctional facility is not necessarily at this time.”
Prosecutors and a defense attorney for Califano consented to the judge’s proposal.
Califano is due back on Jan. 7 when he is expected to enter his guilty plea. Until then he needs to continue to go to an outpatient program and must stay out of trouble.
The 42-year-old assailant asked to use the bathroom at the New Jewish Home in Fordham Heights on Dec. 3, 2017 and then snuck into the elevator taking it to the fourth floor.
Before Califano attacked the octogenarian, he first went into a neighboring 68-year-old man’s room where he allegedly smashed the doorbell and knocked a TV over before he pulled out marijuana and began smoking, the room occupant Charles Davis told The Post at the time.
If convicted at trial, Califano could face up to 25 years in prison.