NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are searching for a man accused of spitting at a woman outside a Queens yeshiva.
According to police, the male suspect attempted to enter a yeshiva on Central Avenue in Far Rockaway on Dec. 24.
When he was denied entry, he allegedly walked over to a nearby vehicle and made anti-Semitic remarks before spitting into the car through an open window and running away.
The 44-year-old female driver in the vehicle was not injured.
Ayyash Saleh owns the store across the street from where the incident happened.
“Who would do that? Some things don’t make sense. Who would do that?” he said.
Others in the area are also disturbed by the hate.
“I feel like it’s not only the Jewish community. It’s the world that we live in. It’s in every community, black, Spanish, so people are being out of control,” Queens resident Maria Asencio told CBSN New York’s Kiran Dhillon.
Anyone who has information regarding this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or for Spanish, 1-888-577-4782. Tips can also be sent to the NYPDTips Twitter account or submitted online at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.
Police say during the last weeks of December, there were at least 14 reported assaults against Jewish people around New York City.
In some cases, the victims have been punched, kicked and have had anti-Semitic slurs yelled at them.
On Saturday, Mayor Bill de Blasio met with members of the community at a synagogue on the Upper West Side.
In light of the attacks, some members of the Jewish faith have pushed for more safety in the community.
The mayor says additional NYPD strategic response officers will be in city streets. Many people in Queens are hoping the initiatives will curb the hate.
“I feel like we all should help each other, respect each other in a way that, today I help you but tomorrow, I don’t know if you will need my help so I’m going to be there,” Asencio said.
“Hope the police catch them. I don’t know, things like that, no one wants to hear it,” Saleh said.
The governor has also announced state police will add patrols in Jewish neighborhoods.