WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Police are searching for an assailant who assaulted a Jewish man in an unprovoked attack in Williamsburg on the same day NYPD officials said they were investigating two possible hate crimes after two victims were sprayed with fire extinguishers in random crimes in the same part of Brooklyn.
Authorities say a 27-year-old man was walking down Lynch Street around 4:30 p.m. Monday, wearing traditional Jewish attire, when he was approached by an unknown man who, unprovoked and without words exchanged, slapped him on the left side of the face.
The man then fled on foot toward Harrison Avenue.
The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force is investigating.
The individual is described as a male in his 30s with a dark complexion, approximately 5-foot-10 with a medium build.
He was last seen wearing a yellow shirt, black pants, black boots, a black hat and a dark-colored backpack, and police are hoping surveillance images will lead to an arrest.
8/25 UPDATE: Police have arrested 31-year-old Carrington Maddox in this incident. He is charged with aggravated harassment and menacing, both as hate crimes.
On Monday, police said they were investigating two possible hate crimes after two men were sprayed with a fire extinguisher in Williamsburg.
In one incident, a 66-year-old man was walking along the sidewalk near the intersection of Roebling Street and South 3rd Street early Sunday morning when he was approached by a group of people he didn't know.
That's when one of the suspects sprayed him with powder from a fire extinguisher.
The victim, who asked to remain anonymous, said after the spray the suspect then punched him in the nose, leaving him bloody.
He is convinced he was targeted because he is Jewish.
The victim said he's OK physically, but he is hesitant to step outside alone that early in the morning.
"Sure, I was surprised," he said. "I thought, with this, I am finished. And then he gave me a punch."
Police also responded to a similar incident Sunday morning near Taylor Street and Lee Avenue. In that instance, a 72-year-old was approached by a group and sprayed with powder from a fire extinguisher.
Authorities said no words were exchanged before the attack.
The latest NYPD statistics show anti-Semitic assaults saw the most noticeable and dramatic spikes among hate crimes.
That was followed by hate crimes motivated by a victim's sexual orientation.
Police say there were 15 anti-Semitic attacks this July versus seven last July -- a 114% increase.
There were 17 attacks against LGBTQ victims this month compared to nine last year -- an increase of 89%.
Anyone with information in regard any of these incidents is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
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