NEW YORK (CBS 2/ 1010 WINS) — An alleged bias attack and two quick arrests in Brooklyn had police looking for a larger hate crime pattern on Tuesday.
CBS 2’s Lou Young was in Williamsburg where some Jewish residents have been living in fear.
The second suspected bias attack in two weeks happened steps from a yeshiva, near the intersection of Wallabout Street and Harrison Avenue. A 44-year-old Hasidic man, identified by friends as Moshe Guttman, was leaving a Hanukkah party at 11 p.m. on Monday. The following is what he told one of the people who stopped to help him.
“He said all of a sudden two guys just jumped him for no good reason. They didn’t ask for money, they didn’t ask for anything, just jumped him, beat him. That’s when he started screaming and that’s when they started running,” Hershy Deutsch said.
They apparently ran into the arms of a community patrol that held them for police.
Cops told Young the two — both teens — admitted not only to Monday night’s attack, but also the Thanksgiving beating that put Joel Weinberger in the hospital, breaking his jaw and his leg. That was another attack where the thugs didn’t ask for money but just pummeled the victim.
“I am too traumatized to talk,” Weinberger said from a hospital bed. In exclusive CBS 2 video, Weinberger shows the effects of a brutal beating police said he received at the hands of those same suspects.
The police commissioner said the teens charged with assault as a hate crime for the latest attack said the beat up the men “for fun.”
“The young men made statements that they assaulted the individual on Nov. 25, the case where an iPod was found on the ground if you recall. That happened to be an iPod of one of the perps, so they made admission as far as Nov. 25 assault,” Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
The arrests came as good news in a community where people often feel vulnerable to prejudice. The manager of Yeshiva Beer Hatova said his young students have been reluctant to walk outside their own school in their own neighborhood.
“They were afraid to come in the morning. They were waiting for their parents to bring them, those that’s cant make the bus,” Sam Fisher said, adding that the attacks have terrorized them.
Kelly said the teens admitted not only to the two attacks we already know about but three others we were previously unaware of. Detectives were canvassing the neighborhood in search of additional victims.
Although two of the victims are Hasidic, Commissioner Kelly said it appears members of other ethnic groups may have been targeted as well.