NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The search is on for four men wanted for harassing two Hasidic teenagers in Brooklyn on Saturday.
Former assemblyman Dov Hikind and the victims reported the incident at the 66th precinct.
“The mother of the 16-year-old said to me just before, ‘I’m not letting my kid walk the streets,’” said Hikind.
According to their report to police, the 16-year-old boys were walking home from a sabbath gathering around 1:00 a.m. near 12th Avenue and 51st Street in Borough Park.
The boys said that’s when four men in a car with TLC license plates yelled “Allah Akbar,” and “Do you know Hitler? We love Hitler.”
The boys ran off.
“He said I didn’t know what next thing would do – I started running,” Hikind said about the boy’s account.
After the initial report with the teens, two Hasidic men in their 30s came forward as a possible third victim, claiming he was verbally harassed by a group in a car that screamed “Allah Akbar” and profanities at him.
“To say this is horrifying, or that it’s unacceptable is meaningless in the face of events that seem to be totally out of control,” said Hikind in a statement following the incident. “There aren’t enough words to continuously express shock, outrage, and discontent with the unfolding situation of antisemitism in America, and particularly in New York City.”
Hikind says the mayor and police have been preaching education to combat the problem, but it’s not enough.
“All my life, ‘We gotta educate, we gotta educate,'” he said. “Well where are we? In worse shape than ever before.”
People in the community are concerned.
“If they really meant it, that could be scary,” said Sam Hirsch, a Borough Park resident.
On Sunday night, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson said he would join with Jewish leaders to “call out the uptick in anti-Semitic hate crimes” at the United Jewish Organizations in Brooklyn on Monday.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74682), logging onto the Crime stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enterings TIP577.