NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Police are now offering a reward as they continue to search for two men in connection with anti-Semitic attacks this weekend.
The NYPD says it has stepped up its presence in Jewish communities following a rise in hate crimes, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Monday.READ MORE: New York Weather: CBS2’s 10/23 Saturday Morning Forecast
Safety concerns are top of mind in Borough Park, Brooklyn following two anti-Semitic attacks in the area on Saturday night.
“I’ve seen police, but maybe it should be more,” one person said.
“You’re gonna see that presence,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier Monday.
The mayor and the NYPD have vowed that officers will be visible.
“We want to stop this pattern dead in its tracks, show that antisemitism will not be accepted,” de Blasio said.
— Alice Gainer (@GainerTV) May 24, 2021
There have been 63 reported anti-Jewish attacks in New York City this year compared to 60 for the same time period last year.
Police said the suspects they are looking for in Saturday’s incidents allegedly yelled anti-Jewish words and spit at a group of men standing outside a synagogue on 16th Avenue.READ MORE: Manhattan, Brooklyn Residents Sue City To Stop Permanent Outdoor Dining
The victims ran inside and locked them out. The suspects then began banging on the door. Police said the men assaulted two teenagers walking on Ocean Parkway off 18th Avenue 45 minutes later, demanding those two teens say anti-Jewish statements.
When they refused, the suspects beat them, including putting one in a chokehold, police said, adding the victims ran off and one suspect chased them with a bat.
The suspects fled in a blue Toyota Camry. There was a third person in that car.
On Friday, the mayor and NYPD met with local Jewish community leaders about safety. Many wonder where police were Saturday night.
NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said a mistake was made there.
“I’ll take ownership of that. We had a meeting with each one of our borough chiefs to make sure that their presence was there. The misunderstanding is that if you have to take officers from other places to make sure it’s covered, then do as such,” he said. “And that’s where the mistake was made and we’re correcting it.”
Police have been out putting up wanted posters and passing out flyers offering a $3,500 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the suspects in Saturday’s attacks.MORE NEWS: 'Phantom Of The Opera,' Broadway's Longest Running Show, Resumes Performances
Anyone with information about the men wanted in Saturday’s attacks is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.