A 25-year-old Hasidic man was stabbed without warning while walking on a Brooklyn street yesterday just before noon. NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said, "He was dressed in Hasidic garb. Right now we’re looking at it as a possible hate crime because he’s dressed in that fashion."
According to police, the victim, Yehuda Brikman, was in front of 646 Empire Boulevard in Crown Heights when he was "stabbed on the left side of his back by an unknown person. When the victim turned around, he saw a male running on the street away from him."
During a press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was "very concerned about" the stabbing, and a police source tells the NY Times that the NYPD is still investigating the stabbing of a Jewish emergency medical service volunteer in Crown Heights last fall, and investigators are exploring whether the cases are related.
In that November 3 incident, the off-duty Hatzolah worker was stabbed by a fleeing suspect and suffered a two-inch laceration in the shoulder.
The authorities released surveillance video of the suspect in yesterday's attack, describing him as between 20 and 30 years old, 5'10" and 180 pounds, and wearing a black bookbag, last seen wearing a dark colored jacket, blue hooded sweater, dark colored pants and black boots.
The Anti-Defamation League, which is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the attacker, said, "Brooklyn’s Jewish community is once again suffering from apparent targeted acts of hate with this latest stabbing in Crown Heights. This alleged hate crime is just one in a series of traumatic attacks over the past several months in which Jews across the city, especially in Brooklyn, have been singled out for violence. While we have not documented a rise in the overall numbers of anti-Semitic incidents in New York City, we are seeing a troubling pattern in which members of the Jewish community in Brooklyn are experiencing the worst kind of anti-Semitism."
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.