Police arrested a 15-year-old for allegedly assaulting a 24-year-old Jewish man in hate crime in Bedford-Stuyvesant last Friday.
The New York City Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force said on Twitter that the teen had been charged with assault and committing a hate crime after being caught on video approaching two men dressed in traditional Hasidic clothing as they walked down Stockton Street near Marcy Avenue just before 10:30 pm on Feb. 4 and punching one in the face, then turning and fleeing back down Stockton Street. Police said the victim refused medical attention at the scene.
The NYPD did not have additional information about the arrest or the attack as of Thursday afternoon. It is unclear whether the suspect was also connected with a similar attack that occurred just ten minutes earlier on Friday evening, when a 44-year-old man reported that an unknown attacker punched him in the right ear at Myrtle and Marcy avenues.
“Thank you @NYPDHateCrimes for the quick action and arrest,” the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg tweeted. “It’s so tragic that a 15 year old has been indoctrinated to commit such a crime. We are grateful that @NYCMayor and @NYPDnews work tirelessly to stop the hate.”
On Saturday, Feb. 5, just a day after the assaults, neighbors discovered swastikas and other graffiti spray-painted on the sides of two Yeshiva school buses and a residential building in Williamsburg. Video footage showed a group of four young men believed to be connected to the crime walking down the street and pausing to crouch beside a building with what appears to be a can of spray paint. The vandals are wanted for Aggravated Harassment, according to NYPD Crime Stoppers.
Days later, more swastikas were found spray-painted on a building at Division Avenue and Roebling Street and on a grocery store at Hooper Street and Harrison Avenue.
More than 100 anti-Semitic crimes have been reported in New York City every year since at least 2018. On Wednesday evening, at about the same time that the painted swastikas were discovered, Manhattan councilmember Julie Menin was hosting a town hall meeting in partnership with the NYPD and the Anti-Defamation League about reporting and stopping anti-Semitic hate crimes.
“This hate breaks my damn heart,” tweeted North Brooklyn councilmember Lincoln Restler on Wednesday. “We are developing action plan to respond to this torrent of anti-Semitism. We must do better.”