Police in Brooklyn are investigating two unprovoked attacks on visibly Jewish men in the majority Hasidic neighbourhood of Williamsburg.
The more recent incident took place on Tuesday, and was caught on surveillance camera. In the incident, a young man ran up behind the victim, hit him in the side of the head and fled.
The first incident took place on May 4, when the victim was punched in the back of the head on the street. The attacker was reported to have called the man a “f***ing Jew.”
The Anti-Defamation League is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrests of the attackers.
“Amid ongoing concerns that a dramatic increase in violent assaults targeting Jews is taking place in New York City, as reported by ADL and NYPD last week, this attack is especially worrying,” an ADL statement offering the reward said.
“The shocking video footage of the assault on a Jewish man in plain daylight shows the perpetrators of these despicable acts feel emboldened, said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL NY/NJ regional director. “This is the second alleged anti-Semitic assault we’ve seen during the past week alone. We cannot allow anti-Semitic assaults to become the new normal.”
The United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn, the central planning and social service agency for more than 200 organizations, met on Friday with NYPD chief of department Terence Mohanan and chief of patrol Rodney Harrison as well as elected officials representing Williamsburg, the news website VosIzNeias reported.
The NYPD committed additional resources to the Williamsburg neighbourhood and its synagogues, according to the report.
The NYPD reported earlier this month that of 145 hate crimes reported in January through April 2019, 82 incidents – nearly 57 per cent – were anti-Jewish. Three precincts with large Hasidic populations, all in Brooklyn and including Williamsburg, reported the most anti-Jewish hate crimes in 2018.