SUNSET PARK, Brooklyn — A man accused of using a hammer to attack and damage two Brooklyn mosques is being sought by police Tuesday, according to the NYPD.
Surveillance video captured both incidents, which happened 18 minutes, and less than half a mile apart. Officials say they are investigating it as a hate crime.
The man used a hammer to destroy a camera and "numerous" windows at the Beit El-Maqdis Islamic Center on Sixth Avenue in Sunset Park around 5:20 p.m. Saturday, police said.
He then walked to the United American Muslim Association on Sixth Avenue and 63rd Street, police said.
There he used a hammer to destroy the building's front doorbell, door knob and mailbox, according to police.
The man sought in the attacks is described as last seen wearing a black hooded coat, blue jeans and white sneakers. He can be seen in surveillance footage released by police.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams joined Muslim leaders Monday to condemn the attacks.
“The hammer may have shattered the glass, but it did not shatter our spirit and our unity," Adams said.
The incidents occured as a new FBI report indicates a 4.6 percent increase in hate crimes compared to last year, and a 19 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes alone.
The numbers are deeply flawed, according to some civil rights groups, because hate crimes are typically under reported.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting http://www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).