NYPD investigating several violent incidents possibly motivated by the war in Israel

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, October 12, 2023
NYPD investigating incidents possibly motivated by the war in Israel
The violence in New York comes as the NYPD prepares for the possibility of unrest on Friday due to a "Day of Action" in Palestine. Reporter Lindsay Tuchman has more.

BROOKYLN, New York (WABC) -- Police are investigating multiple violent incidents that may have been motivated by the war between Israel and Hamas.

Wednesday night, two Jewish men approached two other men holding Palestinian flags, grabbed one of the flags, hit one man over the head with it and then ran away, police say. The incident occurred in Brooklyn at Flushing Avenue and Classon, no arrests have been made.

Just before 8 p.m. Wednesday, two 16-year-olds allegedly fired off gel pellet guns outside congregation B'Nai Yosef on Ocean Parkway in Gravesend. The Flushing Shomrim, a Jewish watchdog group, responded to the scene first. The two teens were taken into custody.

Around midnight Wednesday night, a Middle Eastern 18-year-old was allegedly assaulted by one of three men waving Israeli flags who police say jumped out of their cars, asked the man if he was Palestinian, and then proceeded to kick and punch him. The incident occurred on 86th Street in Bay Ridge and is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Additionally, a Columbia University student who is Israeli was struck with a stick by a 19-year-old ripping down fliers he had just posted in front of Butler Library in Morningside Heights.

The 24-year-old victim and Maxwell Friedman first got into a verbal dispute about the flyers before it turned physical. Friedman was charged with assault.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams spoke about the potential threat Wednesday night at an interfaith reception at Gracie Mansion.

"What we saw play out in Israel was not Islam, it was hatred. It was demonism. It was devil worshippers. It was those who are against the light. You cannot hide behind your religion to turn out your devilish deeds," Adams said.

The violence in New York comes as the NYPD prepares for the possibility of unrest on Friday due to a "Day of Action" in Palestine.

The NYPD has ordered all officers to report in uniform Friday and has activated a joint operations center in Manhattan in anticipation of protests.

ALSO READ | Upper East Side resident returns to Israel for IDF active duty as war continues

A man from the Upper East Side joined the Israeli Defense Forces to report for duty. Reporter Darla Miles has the story.


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