Four children, three of them not even teenaged, have been arrested in connection with the series of knockout assaults that have terrified Jews in Crown Heights these past few months, DNAinfo.com reported.
Police revealed on Thursday that they took a 14-year-old girl and three other children, aged 10 and 11, into custody last month in connection with three assaults against Orthodox Jewish children, attacks which police say are hate crimes. The age of the perpetrators underscores the difficulty police have in deterring crimes which are seen by the attackers as games. Their goal is to knock out the victim with a single punch to the head.
“Kids are kids,” said Deputy Inspector George Fitzgibbon, commanding officer at the 71st precinct. “When you’re talking 10- and 11-year-olds getting involved in these type of things, sometimes they don’t realize the magnitude of what they’re doing.”
While the vast majority of victims in Crown Heights, Williamsburg and Flatbush are recognizably Jewish, and the attackers are African-Americans or Hispanics, the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force said they determined that the attacks were not motivated by bias.
“Every time one of these incidents did occur, nothing was ever said with regard to any kind of bias, so to speak,” Fitzgibbon said. “The only commonality is that basically all the victims were Jewish.”