Hate crimes probe into anti-Semitic assault and robbery on Brooklyn street

Photo by Todd Maisel

Governor Andrew Cuomo directed the state police to help NYPD hate crimes detectives catch the suspects who attacked a Jewish man on a Brooklyn street early Friday morning.

The Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol posted video on its Twitter account of the violent anti-Semitic assault, which occurred at about 5:24 a.m. on July 16 near the corner of New York Avenue and Avenue K. 

Two unidentified perpetrators attacked the victim as he headed to shul, the safety patrol reported. They repeatedly punched the victim and stole some of his property, including his tefillin, small leather boxes which contain verses from the Torah. 

But the suspects apparently dropped the tefillin nearby, as it was later recovered by volunteers, the patrol reported. The incident occurred in the NYPD’s 63rd Precinct. 

The Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the suspects’ arrests.

After learning of the attack through reports, Cuomo announced on Saturday that he’s directing the New York State Police to assist the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force in catching the perpetrators.

“I am outraged to once again hear of an anti-Semitic attack in our state. To beat and rob a Jewish man on his way to a synagogue is sickening beyond compare. Hate has no place here and we will not tolerate it,” the governor said. “To the Jewish Community of New York, I know this is exhausting. No one should have to worry about being attack for their religious beliefs, ever. We stand with you and we will not stop fighting until the plague that is hate has been eradicated. Love will win here.”

Brooklyn City Council Member Farah Louis similarly condemned the incident in a statement.

“I want to be very clear that anti-Semitic acts are absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated in District 45 or New York City,” Louis said. “This is an attack on the very foundation of who we are as a community – a place where all people should feel safe and welcomed regardless of their faith or race. We stand with the Jewish community and we wish and pray for the constituent’s speedy recovery.”