NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There’s been an another incident to add to the recent string of bias assaults.
A man dressed in traditional Hasidic attire was attacked while driving his car in Crown Heights.
There’s been an alarming increase in anti-Semitic attacks.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Unit is focusing on Crown Heights, with two separate, likely bias crimes in one week.
Although different suspects are wanted in each case, the victims had in common that they were Orthodox Jewish men.
The community is reacting with concern and outrage.
“There should not be any such crimes out here. There’s no reason for hate,” said resident Barry Kaye.
It began Tuesday, when Rabbi Avraham Gopin was in Lincoln Terrace Park in Crown Heights. He told police he was attacked by a man who hit him in the face with a large rock, breaking his nose and knocking out two teeth.
He spoke to CBS2 about the attack.
“When he saw me, he jumped towards me… throwing rocks full force towards my head,” Gopin said. “Then he jumped on me start to fight with me, trying to knock me in the face – 20, 25, 30 times with his fists and I was protecting myself.”
The suspect remains on the loose.
Then on Thursday, in the same neighborhood, a heavy object – possibly a block of ice – was thrown through the driver’s side window of vehicle where an unnamed man described as Orthodox was sitting in traffic. It happened around 5 p.m. He was hit in the eye. A group of young suspects ran away.
CBSN New York’s Dave Carlin interviewed Rachel Grinspan, who is with the Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey about what her office is calling a disturbing increase in anti-Semitic attacks.
“One incident in one week is already too much, and then to have two coming on the heels, back to back like this, in this alleged incidents, is extremely disturbing,” Grinspan said. “We have to stay strong. We have to come together. We need to really make a unified front to try to explain and make sure everyone knows these attacks have no place here, and that this is not a city that we accept this.”
As the search for the suspects in the two cases continues, the NYPD says there have been 145 anti-Semitic hate crime complaints in the city so far in 2019 – compared to 88 during the same amount of time last year.
Community leaders say education and new programs to occupy more young people could help reverse a troubling trend.