A Brooklyn teenager has been charged with a hate crime following an unprovoked attack on a Jewish man in the New York borough’s Crown Heights section.
The incident occurred on Monday afternoon at the intersection of Empire Boulevard and Albany Avenue. The victim was accosted as he was crossing the street by a black teenager carrying a wooden stick. When the victim realized he was about to be assaulted, he attempted to flee into a dry-cleaning store owned by a friend and was struck by the assailant on the back and shoulder as he ran. The stick broke in half and the assailant then threw the second piece into the store, striking both the victim and another bystander and causing further injuries.
The assailant was apprehended minutes later by police and Jewish community members. Arresting officers said the teen had been released less than 30 minutes prior to the violent assault, after he was caught shoplifting from a neighborhood bodega. He has now been charged with felony assault, menacing, harassment, criminal possession of a weapon, as well as a hate crime.
Monday’s attack came one day after two Jewish men were injured in a hate crime attack in Boro Park. A Jewish man walking home from synagogue was kicked and beaten by an assailant who jumped out of his car to carry out the attack. A second Jewish man who came to the first man’s aid was similarly chased and attacked by the assailant.
Evan Bernstein — the New York/New Jersey regional director of the Anti-Defamation League — paid tribute to law enforcement officers for taking swift action in both cases.
“We are deeply disturbed by and unequivocally condemn these horrific attacks, and thank the New York City Police Department and its Hate Crimes Task Force for taking swift action and for investigating a bias motive,” Bernstein said in a statement. “We cannot allow events such as these to become the new normal. We will continue to offer our support in responding to hate, so that New York City remains safe and inclusive for all.”