NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police in Brooklyn are investigating two separate attacks on Orthodox Jewish men in the past week.
Surveillance video shows one man walking near Rodney and Marcy streets in Williamsburg at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when someone runs up and strikes him so hard, his hat flies off his head and he is nearly knocked over.
“It’s a hate crime. For no reason somebody getting attacked,” one person said.
“It’s terrible. Of course I’m terrified,” Williamsburg resident Moshe Brody added.
The victim’s wife told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner her family was traumatized by the attack.
The 39-year-old husband and father was the second Jewish man to be targeted in one week in the area.
“It’s getting worse by the day,” one Williamsburg resident said. “More looking over my shoulder.”
“It ridiculous, sounds crazy,” another resident added.
In an unrelated incident, a group of men allegedly punched a 42-year-old man in the face Saturday on Broadway. The victim said they shouted anti-Semitic slurs before running away.
Rachel Grinspan, of the Anti-Defamation League, told CBS2 anti-Semitic hate crimes are not only becoming more common, but more extreme.
“What we have been seeing, unfortunately, is an increase in the violence that has been displayed against members of the Jewish community,” she said.
The latest NYPD numbers show a 67 percent increase in hate crimes so far this year.
People who’ve lived in the neighborhood for decades said it’s very concerning and that they’re on alert.
“It’s terrible. They have to do something,” one person said.
“They don’t do anything. Well, maybe they do stuff but maybe not enough,” Brody added.
The ADL is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in either incident.
The New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force is assisting in the investigation.