A 26-year-old father of four was savagely beaten by three thugs on Thanksgiving in Williamsburg, and police are investigating the assault as a hate crime. Joel Weinberger, an Orthodox Jewish man, suffered a broken leg and his jaw has been wired shut after the beating, which took place around 7:30 p.m. after he left a Yeshiva on Harrison Avenue. Community activist Isaac Abraham says he thinks it's obvious the assault was a hate crime, because Weinberger voluntarily offered his assailants his wallet, and they stomped him anyway.
"They were offered his wallet, and they were not even interested," Abraham tells CBS. "They were there for one reason only - it’s to hurt him because of his religion. All his religious articles - his hat, his jacket, his fringes - were ripped apart. He was basically undressed on the scene." Police sources tell the Wall Street Journal that Weinberger was jumped from behind, punched and knocked to the ground before his cell phone was stolen. He says the attackers may have been wearing brass knuckles, and they literally yelled "we hate you" before running off.
Weinberger did not get a good look at his three attackers, and a nearby surveillance camera was angled the wrong way to get video of the attack. But the camera may provide a glimpse of the three suspects before or after the attack, and the NYPD's Hate Crimes Bureau is checking cell phone records.