New York police have determined that the assault of an Orthodox Jewish man in Brooklyn on Sunday morning was a hate crime.
According to a report on NBC New York, the attacker has been charged with assault as a hate crime.
The attacker, identified by the NYPD as Farrukh Afzal, 37, was also charged with criminal mischief and harassment, according to the report.
Police said they found Afzal beating a 62-year-old man at 46th Street and 13th Avenue in Boro Park.
The victim was taken to Maimonides Hospital in stable condition with cuts, pain and bruises to his head, police said.
The incident occurred on Church Avenue in Brooklyn, as the victim was walking to a synagogue on nearby 13th Avenue at approximately 7:30 a.m. While the victim was making his way to the synagogue, a taxi marked “Church Ave. Car Service” pulled up to the curb, and the driver exited the vehicle.
Video of the incident showed that the driver shouted at the victim, and then proceeded to physically assault him, punching the victim in the face repeatedly.
State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who represents the neighborhood, said the victim is an Orthodox Jew and added that a second man was attacked when he approached to help.
“Watching the video of the incident or just hearing about it is traumatizing—especially to children and the elderly here, many of which survived the Holocaust," Hikind said in a statement.
"This isn’t the wild west—this is Borough Park," he added. "We won’t allow violent, hateful behavior taking place on our streets.”
Yaakov Hagoel, Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization, commented on the incident on Sunday.
"It is painful and difficult to see a Jew in his 60s brutally beaten in the heart of our friend, the United States, by someone who tries to sabotage the close ties between the American people and American Jewry solely because of their Jewishness. It is important to respond quickly to those violent people and to ensure that they are brought to justice,” he said, calling on local authorities to act “so that every Jew in the US can walk the streets safely like any other citizen.”