NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police are investigating a possible anti-Semitic attack in Brooklyn.
A 42-year-old man says he was punched in the face by a group of men yelling anti-Jewish slurs.
It happened around 1:15 p.m. Saturday on Broadway Street in Williamsburg.
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist the NYPD with the investigation.
“I am appalled and disgusted by the apparent attack on a Jewish man in religious attire in Williamsburg. This abhorrent act of hate-fueled violence is deeply disturbing, especially in the wake of a reported spike in hate crimes and anti-Semitic incidents over the past year,” he said in a statement. “In New York, we have zero tolerance for such abhorrent acts of anti-Semitism. Crimes like this are not just wrong – they are illegal.”
The Anti-Defamation League offered a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
“We are alarmed and deeply concerned that yet another violent anti-Semitic incident has occurred in Brooklyn, Evan R. Bernstein, ADL NY/NJ Regional Director, said in a statement. “This is unacceptable, and the hate must stop. The fact that this alleged attack took place during the Sabbath makes it even more egregious.”
Last week, the NYPD reported hate crimes were up 67 percent in the first quarter of the year. There were 145 incidents, compared to 87 in the first four months of 2018. Of those 2019 incidents, 82 were anti-Semitic – an 82 percent increase.