A wave of new hate related crimes hit the city over the weekend, police say, sparking outrage within the Jewish community and among elected officials.
While none of the crimes have caused any serious physical injury, officials fear an escalation can spark more serious offenses.
As a result, Borough President Eric Adams is joining with the Anti Defamation League and the Board of Education to create a program entitled, “No Place for Hate,” that will engage students in the dangers of racism and anti-Semitism. (See full story soon).
This follows hate related harassment and intimidation of Orthodox Jews in Borough Park on the weekend of Nov. 2 in which a car loaded with young men chased and screamed anti-Semitic remarks at young men returning from their sabbath prayers, according to police. One 16-year-old was arrested in what was described as four separate incidents of hate related crimes.
The latest incidents occurred on Saturday, Nov. 9 at about 6:17 p.m. when one of several youths threw an egg at the door of the Sanz Synagogue at 369 Dahill Rd. as a parishioner entered the building. The group was laughing and running south on Dahill Road, police said.
The youth is described as a light-skinned male; last seen wearing a dark colored coat and blue jeans. A murky video and photograph was also provided by police.
The first incident occurred Nov. 9, at about 6:05 p.m. in front of 1442 38 St., in which a teenager threw an egg in the direction of a 38-year-old female. The female was not hit by the egg and the teen with other youths fled the scene in an unknown direction.
In the third incident, On Sunday, Nov. 10, at 4:15 p.m., a 50-year-old female was walking along 38th Street in the vicinity of 15th Avenue, when three unknown males approached her from behind and one of the males threw an egg at her; she was struck in the back, police said. After throwing the egg at the victim, the teens ran in an unknown direction. No words were exchanged and the woman refused medical attention.
Also on Saturday, Nov 9, police say someone wrote anti-Semitic writing on the walls of the 103rd Street station subway stop on the Lexington Avenue line. The graffiti included Nazi swastikas and other offensive language.
The incidents have sparked outrage among public officials including Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“Earlier today [Nov. 9] anti-Semitic graffiti and swastikas were found scrawled on the walls of the 103rd Street subway stop. This is the latest incident targeting the Jewish community, and I am absolutely disgusted by these vile acts meant to instill fear and divide,” Cuomo said. “In the wake of these incidents, I want to make it clear that New York stands with the Jewish community, and we will not allow these cowards to intimidate us. I am directing the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist the NYPD in the investigation of this foul act, find those responsible and hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Councilman Chaim Deutsch said the NYPD has added additional patrols to the Borough park community after the first incidents on Nov. 2 and local volunteer patrols including Shomrim and Shmira Civilian Patrols are also searching for the suspects.
“Hate crimes continue to rise across the city, and the past two weekends in particular we have seen separate patterns of anti-Semitism in the Borough Park community,” Deutsch said. “We must break this cycle, and that requires a combination of increased police coverage in targeted communities, educational outreach in schools, and aggressive prosecution when perpetrators are identified.”
All of the incidents are being investigated by 66th Precinct detectives and the Hate Crime Taskforce.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the CrimeStoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls are strictly confidential.