The NYPD is investigating two possible hate incidents late on Shabbos in Boro Park and Flatbush, part of an ongoing spate of attacks in the city.
At around 6-7 p.m., two Jewish teenagers were assaulted on Ocean Parkway and 18th Avenue. The victims claimed that a group of men exited a Toyota Camry and assaulted them.
The boys say they were forced to say “Free Palestine,” and were then repeatedly punched. They claimed that another few men surrounded them with baseball bats.
The boys said that a Muslim Uber driver saved their lives when he passed by and saw what was happening. He drove them to where they were staying for Shabbos, in the area of Avenue R and East 12th Street. The two teens are recovering at home.
Later, at about 7:20 p.m., another anti-Semitic incident was reported, when a group of men exited a vehicle on 16th Avenue and 49th Street in Boro Park, and began yelling anti-Semitic slurs at Jews on the street. This was near the Agudah shul. One man reportedly spit at Jewish pedestrians while yelling “Free Palestine – Kill the Jews.” Another man punched a car mirror, breaking it.
The NYPD is looking into the possibility that both incidents are connected.
On Friday, Mayor de Blasio and NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison and other city leaders met with leaders of the Jewish community at City Hall to discuss the recent spate of anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York City.
“Horrible and consistent pattern. We take it seriously because if we don’t, it’s at all of our peril,” said the Mayor. “I don’t see this in isolation, and it’s not just one incident. People’s fears and concerns are well placed, and we have to respond in kind.”
NYPD Chief of Department Harrison provided an overview of the police response. House of worship vehicle patrols will be scaled up with auxiliary officers stationed at synagogues across the city. NYPD will identify locations through precincts and reassign officers from precincts that don’t have Jewish institutions. Attendees offered to help NYPD identify biggest targets.
The mayor was thankful for their support. “We’ll take next steps and check in with you to make sure the community feels supported. We have succeeded before together and we will succeed again. Keep talking, keep adjusting, show people what we’re up to.”
Mr. De Blasio assured the Jewish leaders that the attacks will be addressed forcefully, that arrests have been made and that more arrests are forthcoming.