Hate crime unit investigating pair of bias attacks on Staten Island

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Monday, June 22, 2015
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STATEN ISLAND (WABC) -- Three teenagers are facing hate crime charges after police say they threw a rock at a Jewish doctor on Staten Island and threatened to kill him.

The incident happened around 7:15 p.m. Sunday, when authorities say the teens surrounded the man, who was wearing a yarmulke, as he approached a bus stop.

They allegedly surrounded the victim and threatened to beat him up and kill him, all while making referencing his yarmulke.

The boys threw a rock at the man, who escaped unharmed and called 911.

Police responded and arrested 17-year-old Kareen Cook, who was reportedly found to be carrying a kitchen knife. He was charged him with aggravated harassment as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon

Two 15-year-olds were also arrested, but they were not identified because they are being charged as juveniles.

The incident occurred just blocks from Young Israel of Staten Island.

It was the second bias crime to be reported on Staten Island in three days.

Detectives are looking for five young men believed to be in their late teens or early 20s in connection with an incident that happened Friday.

Police say the group of black males shouted racial slurs and attacked a 28-year-old white man on Targee Street around 3 p.m.

The victim was walking southbound from Staten Island Criminal Court, on his way to the train station, when he was approached.

The suspects reportedly picked up light bulb and piece of lumber and began to strike him. He was taken to Richmond University Medical Center for treatment of multiple cuts and bruises.

The Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating both incidents, but they do not immediately appear to be related.