Spate of anti-Semitic attacks hits Crown Heights

Woman attacked Jewish girls in Crown Heights after finding out they were Jewish. Assault comes among recent spate of anti-Semitic attacks.

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Tzvi Lev,

NYPD vehicle stationed outside 770 Chabad center
NYPD vehicle stationed outside 770 Chabad center
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

A woman viciously attacked a pair of Jewish girls in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood on Thursday.

According to the New York Daily News, Shannon Polak asked the girls where they were going, and attacked them after the girls told her that they were heading to a Jewish event. Police say Polack pulled their hair, pushed them, and choked them, all the while asking them if "you really believe all that."

Polak also punched a hassidic man in the face when he tried to intervene and help the girls. Police arrested Polak and charged her with assault, and the New York Police Department Hate Crimes Task Force is probing the incident.

A boy was attacked by thugs in Crown Heights in a separate incident on Saturday as he made his way home from prayers.

The attack took place on Eastern Parkway, just across the street from the iconic 770 building, the headquarters of the Chabad movement.

As he made his way home, the victim was suddenly assaulted by a group of seven or eight African-American youths, with no apparent provocation.

The boy’s father said he spotted the assailants moments before they attacked, and was able to avoid serious injury to his son.

“My son said that he understood something was going to happen and as he was thinking about what he should do, when they suddenly pounced with one of them slapping him so hard that he fell to the ground, while a second one was hitting him in the head,” the boy’s father told Crown Heights Info.

“Thankfully my son had taken some self-defense courses and knew to protect his head and cover-up.”

The boy’s family reported the incident to local police, who are now investigating the attack as a possible hate crime.

In late September, a legally blind Orthodox Jewish woman was attacked by locals in Crown Heights. The 62-year-old woman was verbally harassed with offensive, anti-Semitic language by the assailant, who then pulled off the woman’s wig before escaping.