Police are searching for a group of teens who are believed to be responsible for two attacks on Orthodox Jews in Williamsburg over the weekend, Hamodia reported on Sunday.
Footage posted to social media shows two suspects chasing a Jewish man at around 12:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, on Lee Avenue between Taylor Street and Roebling Avenue.
The youths are black men, one wearing a white T-shirt, black pants and a black cap; the other was wearing black shorts and a blue T-shirt. The victim’s shtreimel fell to the ground and was stolen by one of the suspects.
On Sunday at around 6:00 a.m., the suspect who was wearing a white T-shirt approached a Jewish man with three other teens, and after separating from the group, sprayed the victim twice with a chemical fire extinguisher, covering the victim from all sides.
He then hurled the canister at the victim, but missed before striking the victim in his face, causing a minor injury. The attack occurred on Roebling Street between Division Avenue and Lee Avenue. The victim, 66 years of age, was on his way to shul.
The suspect fled, and rejoined his friends. The victim did not require medical attention, according to Hamodia.
Shomrim responded to the scene of both incidents and is investigating. The NYPD is treating the attacks as possible hate crimes.
NYPD told Hamodia that police will increase their presence in the community, adding “We take these incidents very seriously and will ensure safety for all.”
Just last week, a synagogue in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn was vandalized with the word “Hitler” spray painted on the side of the building.
The NYPD has opened an investigation into the incident.
Earlier this month, a Brooklyn man was taken into custody by police after making death threats against an upstate New York fruit festival, including ranting that he was planning to go there “to shoot up…the Jewish meet up.”
Days earlier, the main window of a Borough Park synagogue was smashed with rocks, leading the NYPD to open a hate crime investigation.