A man holding a hammer dripping with blood entered the office of Riverside Pediatrics Medical Group on Palisades Avenue in Teaneck, NJ, on Sunday, September 13, smashing glass and asking if the people there were Jewish, WNBC-4 reported.
A secretary at the receptionist table was cut and injured by the broken glass. Jill Gordon had brought her daughter to the physician due when she complained of a stomach ache, and was confronted has accompanied her daughter to the bathroom when the assailant who asked her if she was Jewish. She did not answer the question but locked the door and barricaded herself inside.
Police then followed the trail of blood which led them to Parisian Cleaners, a short distance away, where the suspect smashed through the doors with a hammer to gain entrance, before he was arrested by police.
Teaneck Police charged Cameron Cole, 23 years old, with aggravated assault and weapons possession, but not with a hate crime.
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (Dem-NJ) questioned why the suspect, who asked if the people were Jewish, and not charged with a hate crime. “Imagine someone coming after you with a hammer dripping with blood and asking if you are Jewish. New Jersey has the second highest amount of hate crimes, and that’s why this has to be investigated,” he said.
“If this isn’t prejudice, then I don’t know what is,” Mrs. Gordon said. “He was looking for Jewish people in a pediatrician’s office in a heavily Jewish area. That’s seems like a hate crime to me.”
The Gordons waited in the bathroom for 10 minutes until the police told them it was safe to come out.
Teaneck Police said that Cole showed signs of mental illness and he is being treated at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, and will be taken into police custody after he completes treatment.