Police search for 3 in string of possible hate crimes against Jewish people in Brooklyn

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Thursday, November 30, 2023
Photos released of 3 wanted in string of possible hate crimes
Sonia Rincon has the latest on a string of possible hate crimes in Brooklyn.

MIDWOOD, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Police are looking for three young-looking suspects accused in at least three possible hate crimes targeting Jewish victims in Brooklyn.

The attacks happened last Saturday afternoon less than an hour apart in Midwood.

Police say in each case, the suspects punched or kicked their victims, and apparently yelled "Free Palestine" in at least one incident.

The first incident happened just before 3:30 p.m. while the 40-year-old victim was walking home from a synagogue near East 15th Street and Avenue L. Police say he was approached by the suspects who punched him multiple times before leaving on a scooter.

Next, just before 4 p.m., the group approached a 15-year-old boy walking near East 17th Street and Avenue J. Authorities say the group punched and kicked the victim.

Only five minutes after that attack, a 27-year-old man was walking on East 18th Street and Avenue L when he was kicked by the same group.

All of the victims suffered minor injuries but refused medical attention.

Neighbors in Midwood were shaken on Thursday. The neighborhood is filled with communities and cultures that have coexisted peacefully, but many members of the large Jewish population there are worried, pointing to some of the rhetoric at recent pro-Palestinian rallies around the city.

"Antisemitism is on the rise, since what happened in Israel, it just ignited antisemitism everywhere and it's become like a new fad," said resident Israel Bollag.

The number of antisemitic crimes in the city compared with last year has gone up from 268 to 275 compared with this time last year. But in October this year, the number nearly tripled compared with the same month last year.

"I implore every person, every community, every institution to stand with Jewish Americans, not to ignore it, not to shrug your shoulders, to denounce it as antisemitism in all its forms," said Sen. Charles Schumer.

Schumer made an emotional speech Wednesday saying Jewish Americans have felt extremely vulnerable since October 7.

Meanwhile in Midwood, the state senator whose office is blocks from all three attacks says police can make the community feel safer, not with a presence outside houses of worship, but with arrests when people commit crimes.

"Catch the people, lock them up, unless that happens, people in the community feel it's a free-for- all," said NY Sen. Simcha Felder.

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 (74782).

ALSO READ | NJ community mourns teen stabbed to death during brawl outside club in Manhattan

Anthony Johnson has more on the investigation.


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