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Brooklyn attacks mark latest in string of hate crimes against Jewish community

'It was the scariest experience of my life."

Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

New York City is experiencing a rise in hate crimes against the Jewish community, WLNY-TV reported.

What happened?

In the latest incidents, two men were arrested Wednesday morning following an attack on Jewish men in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the news outlet reported.

One attack happened when a 51-year-old victim was approached by three men around 1 a.m. on President Street. The men punched him in the face and body, causing cut marks and bruises. They reportedly did not say anything during the attack.

Minutes prior to that attack, Mendel Super, 22, was assaulted about a half of a block away. Police told the news outlet they believe both crimes are related.

"I just really felt so helpless lying on the ground there," Super told WLNY. "Nothing that I could do. It was the scariest experience of my life."

He told the news outlet he was on the phone with his father when he was blindsided.

Police arrested Nazar Walters, 18, and Teshon Bannister, 21, on assault and hate crime charges. A third suspect remains at large.

A reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction is being offered by the Anti-Defamation League.

New York City has seen hate crimes double over the past year, according to the report. Eight anti-Semitic hate crimes took place in the first three weeks of 2018 compared to 15 this year. Several have happened in Crown Heights. On Jan. 26, another unprovoked attack took place on Kensington Avenue, the TV station reported.

What is the community reaction?

"We are sickened by this horrific violence, and increasingly alarmed by rising tensions in the community in the wake of similar incidents," Evan R. Bernstein, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League New York/New Jersey, told the TV station. "These crimes are unacceptable, and they must stop. We must work together to stem the tide of anti-Semitic violence in Brooklyn."

Marshall Curry, who directed the Oscar-nominated short film, "A Night at the Garden," told the TV station: "I feel like as a country, we need to say that it's not okay. Understanding our history is an important part of doing that."

Curry's 2017 film concerns an American Nazi rally that drew 20,000 people at Madison Square Garden in 1939.

Although that happened a long time ago, the sentiment still remains, he said.

"It seems like we're having an uptick in anti-Semitic attacks and hate crimes in general, and it was important to remind people that this was part of our history," Curry said.

How can people help?

Anyone with any information is asked to call NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-8477.


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