Christian Rojas accused of hate crime in attack on Orthodox Jewish man in Brooklyn, police say

Police tape at an undated crime scene.
Police tape at an undated crime scene. Photo Credit: Princessmonstertruck via Instagram

A 36-year-old Brooklyn man was arrested on hate crime charges Wednesday after punching an Orthodox Jewish man in the face on the street in Crown Heights, police said.

Christian Rojas faces charges of committing a hate crime, aggravated harassment as a hate crime, aggravated harassment as race or religion, and assault, police said. He was awaiting arraignment Wednesday afternoon.

The district attorney’s office said he did not yet have an attorney. 

Police say the 49-year-old Orthodox Jewish man was walking by Lefferts and Albany avenues at about 5:45 a.m. when the suspect knocked the victim’s cellphone out of his hand and punched him in the face. Rojas allegedly told the man he was “fed up with Jews and sending them a message,” a law enforcement official said.

The victim suffered a bloody nose, but refused medical attention, police said. 

In a separate incident on Tuesday night, an Orthodox Jewish man who was off-duty from his job as an Hatzolah EMS worker, was attacked from behind while he was walking in Crown Heights, police said.

That case is being investigated as a possible hate crime. but police said no link has been found to Wednesday’s attack. 

The volunteer medic, who is in his 30s, was walking down Eastern Parkway at about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday when the ski-mask-wearing suspect came up behind him. He slashed the medic from behind in his back and shoulder area without saying a word, police said.

The victim was taken to Kings County Hospital suffering from 2- to 3-inch slash wounds, and was listed in stable condition, authorities say.

No arrests have been made in connection with that attack. 

The Anti-Defamation League announced Wednesday that it was offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone in the attack on the Hatzolah EMS worker. 

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