(JPUpdates) An Orthodox Jewish man has become the most recent victim in what appears to be a string of anti-Semitic attacks in the Jewish neighbourhood of Williamsburg Brooklyn, NYPD officials told JP.
The victim, identified as Oizer Herman, 65, was walking at the intersection of White Avenue and Wilson street, at around 11:15pm Monday night, when he was approached by a black male and female who hit him in the head with an unknown subject.
The victim, who was hit multiple times with the object, managed to observe the faces of the two suspects before they fled the scene, police officials told JP.
The NYPD’s 90th precinct and Williamsburg Shomrim responded to the scene and started searching the neighborhood for the two attackers, but were unable to locate them.
Hatzolah responded to the scene and treated the victim for minor injuries..
NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is now investing the incident as a hate crime, police officials said. Although no words were exchanged between the attackers and their victim, the victim told investigators that they were laughing while hitting him at least 5-6 times in the head.
Herman gave investigators a description of the two attackers, and hate crimes task force detectives are searching the area for surveillance cameras in hope to locate the suspects.
Police described the suspects as two young black people, and asked that anyone who has information should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477), the 90th precinct detective squad at 718-963-5368 or Williamsburg Shomrim at 718-237-0202.
The attack comes just one week after a 25-year-old Jewish man was assaulted in the head with a Snapple glass bottle, and an Orthodox Jewish man was assaulted in a fifth paintball attack. No arrests were made in any of these cases.
Police are offering a $2,500 reward for any information that will lead to the arrest of the individual/s behind the paintball assaults, as well as a $2,500 reward for any information that will lead to the arrest of the individual in the glass bottle attack.
Reached for comment, Councilman Stephen Levin told JP, “Last night’s senseless attack was the latest in a string of troubling incidents in Williamsburg. I applaud the 90th Precinct, the Williamsburg Shomrim and the Williamsburg Hatzolah for their swift response. I am reassured to hear that the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the case and I urge anyone with information about the assailants to come forward and help bring them to justice. We must continue to come together as a community to say loudly and unequivocally that hatred and violence have absolutely no place in our city or our society.”
The Anti-Defamation League said it is deeply troubled by the incident. “Jews in Brooklyn have unfortunately suffered from some deeply troubling anti-Semitic incidents recently – from Holocaust graffiti on the outside of a Yeshiva in Flatbush, to the ransacking of a Jewish business in Crown Heights, to a visibly identifiable Orthodox Jew being targeted for violence at a subway station,” said Evan Bernstein, ADL’s New York Regional Director. “All of these incidents continue to make our community feel highly vulnerable.”
“Our annual numbers on anti-Jewish acts across the city tell us that the Jewish community is not immune to anti-Semitism, however we are confident because the NYPD continues to investigate these horrific anti-Jewish acts with the utmost seriousness,” Bernstein added.
Rabbi David Niederman, President of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, told JP, “The physical attack last night, and the spike of violent incident against community members, is deeply troubling. Hate Crimes – especially violent ones, are despicable beyond words. These hate-driven perpetrators must be removed from the street. They are serious threats to the community and society at large.”
“We hope that the NYPD will increase patrols in the coming days and weeks to quell this spike and re-assure Williamsburg children and adults that it is safe to enjoy their summer outdoors without fear of being targeted,” he added.