Financial District hate crime sees bigot punch man, shout antisemitic slur: NYPD

Suspect in Financial District hate crime
The suspect sought for an antisemitic hate crime in the Financial District on Dec. 5, 2023.
Photo courtesy of NYPD

The NYPD is investigating yet another antisemitic hate crime in the city — this time in the Financial District, where a bigot attacked a man who bumped into him at a drug store earlier this week, police reported.

On Saturday, police released images and video of the perpetrator sought for the Dec. 5 assault at the Duane Reade store located at 17 John Street.

At about 9:25 a.m. that morning, authorities said, the victim, a 66-year-old man, bumped into the bigot while walking inside the chain store; the suspect was heading out of the establishment at the time.

But the run-in, police said, prompted the suspect to punch the man in the head, then utter an antisemitic statement at him. The perpetrator then exited from the store and fled to parts unknown.

The incident was reported to the 1st Precinct. Authorities said the victim suffered a minor head injury, but refused medical attention at the scene. The case was presented to the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force for further investigation.

Scene of Financial District hate crime
The Duane Reade pharmacy on John Street in the Financial District.Photo via Google Maps

Antisemitism has been on the rise since the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas upon Israel, and it has led to a dramatic spike in antisemitic hate crimes across New York City in the last two months.

This week, the NYPD reported a 33% jump in hate crimes across the Five Boroughs in November, and that nearly two-thirds of the incidents were against Jewish people — either in the form of physical or verbal attacks, or vandalism.

On Friday, Mayor Eric Adams convened a rally with faith leaders urging unity in this time of turmoil, and condemning acts of hatred against all faiths and people.

As for the Dec. 5 hate crime in the Financial District, police described the suspect involved as a man with a dark complexion believed to be 40 years of age with a medium build, standing about 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing about 170 pounds, with a goatee. He was last seen wearing a purple-and-black The North Face jacket over a yellow polo shirt and dark pants.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.