The New York Police Department on Monday said that it has launched an investigation into a string of alleged anti-semitic attacks that occurred in Williamsburg this past weekend.
The three incidents as stated by the NYPD include two attacks, wherein a suspect blasted Jewish passers-by with a fire extinguisher, and another in which security footage showed an assailant run across a street with a fire extinguisher and approach the victim from behind before dousing him without warning.
A perp is seen running up behind a Hasidic Jewish person on Lee Ave & Taylor St and assaulted him by spraying him with a fire extinguisher, if you have more information contact @WspuShomrim and @NYPD90Pct. pic.twitter.com/yzfxSjufTD
— WILLIAMSBURG NEWS (@WMSBG) August 21, 2022
In another incident, security footage from Saturday night showed two individuals chasing a Jewish man down a city sidewalk in the same neighborhood. During the chase, the Jewish man’s shtreimel fell to the ground, and one of the assailants grabbed it and held it aloft before dropping it to the ground again.
On Monday, the NYPD Hate Crimes unit released photos of a suspect and said the incidents were “being investigated as a hate crime pattern.” Meanwhile, the Williamsburg Shomrim has called on the public’s help in identifying the suspects.
Reacting to this chain of incidents in one single night, the Anti-Defamation League said, “This hate needs to be denounced as it has no place in [New York].” According to the ADL, antisemitic incidents in New York City have spiked in recent years, with Jews consistently being the group most targeted in hate crimes on an annual basis.