Tamar Ben-Haim: Woman sues US Secret Service agent over July attack in Israel ahead of Joe Biden visit
Tara Ben-Haim said while she was on her way home, a 'large man' repeatedly punched her 'over and over like a punching bag'
The officer was supposedly getting ready for President Joe Biden's visit. After months of the incident, Tamar Ben-Haim filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, DC, against the unnamed agent in relation to the incident which happened in an alleyway as she was making her way home at around 1 am. Ben-Haim claims she has asked the Secret Service for the man's identification under the Freedom of Information Act, but they have refused it so far. According to the lawsuit, she has that case on appeal.
Ben-Haim claimed in a Fox News interview conducted shortly after the assault that a "large man" repeatedly punched her "over and over like a punching bag." “I was in total shock,” she said at the time. “He was so strong … I couldn’t even attempt to defend myself. In my head, I was thinking, ‘You won’t survive this. This is the end of your life.,” she stated. The 30-year-old graphic designer claims that while the man began punching and slapping her, she "thought that these were her last moments on Earth" and that she had seen him carrying a gun.
According to the court documents, the man "held Tamar tightly, hit her on her chest, repeatedly, slapped her, causing her earring and earphone to fall to the ground." According to the lawsuit, Ben-Haim shouted for help but no one responded until a man who was with her assailant pushed him away from her before fleeing the area.
The Israeli claims that she reported the assault to the police "immediately afterward," and that the officers detained and later freed her alleged attacker and returned him to the US. She would discover later that the man, who had just left a bar, was an off-duty Secret Service agent preparing for Biden's arrival, according to the records.
Ben-Haim's lawyer Marc Zell claimed in court that the Secret Service is defending her assailant. “Defendant — as well as defendant’s employer — is attempting to evade justice by refusing to disclose his identity,” the suit charges.
After being contacted for an interview by an Israeli TV station, Ben-Haim said, "I just felt more anger, more hurt" when she learned he was with the Secret Service. “He’s not a homeless person off the street. He’s a trained fighter,” she said. “This is not someone from a Third World country. America is the example of the world, and he works for the president,” she remarked. “They just shipped him back to where he came like nothing ever happened, and they expect me to just move on with my life," she added.
Ben-Haim believes that the event traumatized her and left her with sleep issues, anxiety, sadness, and exhaustion. According to the lawsuit, she is currently experiencing headaches and respiratory issues. The woman added that in order to deal with the trauma, she now needs to visit a psychologist and psychiatrist on a regular basis. She was forced to stay in bed for three days, unable to move due to the pain. According to the agency's statement at the time, the agent's use of Secret Service facilities was suspended while an investigation was conducted.