Police officers in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn pledged to “step up” their patrols on Friday following the second violent attack on a visibly Orthodox Jewish man this week.
Brooklyn North Police Chief Jeffrey Maddrey told Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council (CHJCC) that he will be sending extra patrols to the neighborhood in response to the recent uptick in crime, local Jewish website COL Live reported.
The website also quoted Inspector John Buttacavoli — commanding officer of the New York Police Department’s 77th Precinct — saying the NYPD will increase patrols in the area, as the spate of assaults on Orthodox Jews over the last year has shown few signs of abating.
The latest attack occurred on Thursday afternoon. A delivery truck driven by an Orthodox Jewish man was being held up in traffic when a group of African American youths approached the vehicle and threw a stone through the glass of the driver-side window. The rock hit the Jewish man in the eye, and he sustained cuts to his face. He later filed a report with the NYPD.
The incident is now being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crime Unit. It followed Tuesday’s assault by a lone African American male on 63-year-old Rabbi Abraham Gopin, who fought off his brick-wielding assailant and sustained several injuries in the process.
Rabbi Eli Cohen, the executive director of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, told The Algemeiner on Thursday that the wave of antisemitism was not yet a mass phenomenon, but “I would say it’s a disturbing trend.”
A statement from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Friday also expressed concern at the continued threat to the local Jewish community.
“This is not normal, and it is not acceptable,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL NY/NJ Regional director. “The continued violence and hate directed towards visibly observant Jewish individuals in our community must stop now. No one in our city should have to live in fear simply because of who they are or how they worship.”
Said Bernstein: “This week, we barely had time to process one horrific assault, and the images of the victim’s blood-stained tzitzit that followed, before a second violent attack took place.”
He added that the ADL was “grateful to the NYPD Hate Crime Unit for investigating.”