A car attempted to hit two Orthodox men standing by the side of a road in Jackson this past Shabbos according to a report filed with local police. Both were able to jump out of the way in time and escaped without any injuries.
The incident occurred as the two men were making their way home from shul after davening on Shabbos morning. They had stopped to speak with each other on Louisiana Avenue off of New Prospect Road, when they noticed a black car swerve, pick-up speed, and apparently advance towards them.
“We jumped out of the way and Baruch Hashem were able to get to the side in time, but it was very scary,” one of the men told Hamodia.
While passing by, the men observed three young men in the vehicle who looked to be somewhere between 17 and 20 years old. One of the passengers stuck their heads out and screamed a profanity at the pair. After passing them, the car then made a U-turn and doubled back charging towards the men again while several passengers screamed anti-Semitic slurs and more profanities.
A non-Jewish woman who observed the incident called local police who responded within minutes. The two men had managed to memorize the license plate and they together with the woman and one additional witness gave reports to the authorities who are investigating the incident.
The Jackson resident who was one of the potential targets said that he had heard of several similar occurrences in the neighborhood, but as witnesses were unable to record the license plate numbers, no cases have been formally written up by the police. He said it was impossible to ascertain if the driver’s intention was to scare him and his friend or to cause bodily injury.
The man added that amid ongoing tensions over the recent influx of Orthodox families to Jackson and some in the area who have sought ways to slow this trend, he feared increasingly vitriolic rhetoric especially on-line could have played as significant role in what he claims occurred.
“It certainly seems likely that with all the nasty things that some people are saying about Jews around here on social media, three kids listened to it and went and did a dangerous thing like this,” he said. “I just hope that they are caught and prosecuted because it’s important to send a strong message.”