Police investigating string of attacks against Jewish men in Williamsburg

A group of young men attacked three Jewish men in Williamsburg on Monday morning, sending two to the hospital, according to authorities.
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The Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a series of brutal attacks targeting Hasidic Jewish men in Williamsburg on Aug. 12, according to authorities.

The first assault occurred on Ross Street between Wythe Place and Bedford Avenue, when three men punched a 71-year-old Jewish man in the face and searched his pockets, before fleeing empty-handed at around 5 a.m., cops said.

Paramedics rushed the victim to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition, according to police.

A half hour later, three men approached a 67-year-old Jewish man on Clymer Street near Juliana Place — just three blocks from the first incident — and punched the victim in the face before, yet again, running away empty handed, cops said.

And just 10 minutes after that, the trio punched a 56-year-old Jewish victim just steps from where the first attack took place. First responders also took that victim to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition as well, police said.

Authorities confirmed that all three victims were Jewish, but noted that one of the victims was not wearing any religious garb at the time of the attack, according to a spokesman.

A local lawmaker took to Twitter on Monday to condemn the apparently anti-Semitic attacks.

“Terribly shocking and sad to see multiple elderly Orthodox Jewish residents of Williamsburg attacked early this morning,” wrote Councilman Stephen Levin. “We need to collectively stand up against hate and violence in our community.”

Following a 46 percent spike in hate crimes through the first quarter of 2019 over the same period last year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the formation of the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes in June — which is designed to coordinate hate-crime prevention efforts across city agencies, including the Police Department Hate Crime Task Force.

“We will never stand idly by while our fellow New Yorkers are targeted because of their race, religion, sexual orientation or any other quality that makes them who they are,” de Blasio said at the time. “The Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes will work to root out hate and make our streets safer.”

Several anti-Semitic incidents occurred in Brooklyn earlier this year, including on May 4, when a group of bigots shouting Jewish slurs attacked a man in religious garb. Later that month, someone left a post-it note reading “Hitler is coming” outside of the Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights.

No arrests have been made in connection with Monday’s attacks, and the investigation remains ongoing, cops said.

Anyone who provides police with information leading to an arrest can expect up to a $2,500 reward through the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers program. The public can phone their tips to (800) 577-8477, log into the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, tweet @NYPDTips, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are strictly confidential.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.

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