NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are investigating whether two incidents in which Jewish residents were struck with paint in Brooklyn were hate crimes.
On Saturday night, two Jewish teenagers reported being struck with paint at Morton Street and Juliana Place in Williamsburg, police said.
The pair had been walking home from synagogue with their grandfather when they were attacked.
Blue and pink paint still covered the sidewalk Monday morning, CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported.
“My grandchildren were very afraid because they thought it was a bullet,” victim Abraham Franczoz exclusively told CBS2’s Gold.
The shots were fired right at the group.
“We felt some shoulder shots,” Franczoz said.
The boys ran off with no injuries.
Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime and are looking for the shooter.
“We’re afraid. We don’t have no weapons. We don’t fight back,” Franczoz said.
On March 22, another Jewish man reported that someone shot him with a paintball gun or threw paint on him, CBS2 reported. He had also been walking in Williamsburg — at Hewes Street and Kent Avenue, about a half-mile from Saturday’s incident.
None of the victims were injured.
Police have not said whether they believe the two incidents are connected.
But leaders in the Jewish community said it’s no coincidence.
“This is not a joke,” Rabbi Moishe Indig said. “This is not a game. And we’ll take it very serious. The community’s going to be very serious about it, and the Police Department will be very serious about it, as they told me they will make sure to catch the guys and do whatever’s necessary to stop it.”
People who live in the neighborhood told Gold they have a lot of concerns and don’t feel safe walking around, especially at night.
As of Monday afternoon, police did not have have any information on a possible suspect, Gold reported.