A Jewish man has been randomly slapped on the face in New York in what police suspect is the latest in a spate of hate crimes against members of the Jewish community.
The 22-year-old victim was walking along Avenue L in East Midwood, Brooklyn at around 10:35pm on Friday night when he said the male suspect got out of a vehicle and approached him, asking for directions, according to the NYPD.
Police said the victim answered the suspect and then went to walk away, when the man hit him in the face, knocking his yarmulke off.
The suspect then fled the scene in a waiting minivan being driven by another man, police said.
The NYPD said that the victim suffered pain and swelling from the attack but refused medical attention.
Surveillance footage, posted on the NYPD Crime Stoppers Twitter account, shows the suspect approaching the 22-year-old along the sidewalk and striking him in the face before running to the waiting minivan.
The NYPD also released separate surveillance footage of the suspect inside a convenience store sometime after the alleged attack.
A third surveillance video shows the suspect with another man believed to be the driver of the minivan outside the store at the attached gas station.
The ADL said in a statement posted on Twitter that the driver had also filmed the attack.
The two suspects were allegedly involved in a separate attempted assault later that night.
As of Monday morning, the NYPD said that no arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.
The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force said it is actively investigating the incident.
Mayor Eric Adams condemned the attack in a social media post on Saturday night and urged anyone with information to come forward.
“@NYPDHateCrimes is investigating this attack, and make no mistake an attack on our Jewish community is an attack on every New Yorker,” he said.
“We will catch the perpetrators of this assault. Please contact the NYPD with any information.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul also spoke out over the “horrific act” and vowed to crackdown on the assailant.
“We stand with the Jewish community in the face of abhorrent antisemitism,” she tweeted.
“I am directing the @nyspolice Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the investigation of this horrific act. Those responsible will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
A reward of up to $3,500 has been offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.
Friday’s incident marks just the latest in a string of recent attacks on Jewish people in the city.
Last week, a 15-year-old boy was arrested for two alleged attacks on Jewish men back on 4 February.
In one incident, the teenager was caught on surveillance footage running up on a man in Hasidic clothing in Bed-Stuy and punching him in the face.
This comes after a woman was arrested last month for allegedly harassing and spitting on an eight-year-old Jewish boy outside a synagogue in Brooklyn.
Christina Darling, 21, allegedly walked up to three children outside the Kehal Tiferes Avrohom Ziditshov Orthodox synagogue, shouted “anti-Jewish statements” at them before spitting on the boy.
NYPD crime data shows that hate crimes against Jewish people emerged 275 percent in January 2022 compared to January 2021, with 15 incidents to last year’s four.
Anyone with information about the suspect and driver in Friday’s attack is asked to call the NYPD tip line at 1-800-577-TIPS. All calls are confidential