NEW YORK (PIX11) — The NYPD addressed a concerning rise in hateful attacks in the wake of the war in the Middle East Tuesday.
While anti-Islamic incidents have been reported, antisemitic attacks dominate New York City’s complaints, police said.
Detectives on Tuesday said they caught a Manhattan man whose alleged hate landed him in handcuffs. Christopher D’Aguiar, 28, allegedly punched a woman in the face because “she’s Jewish,” he said.
“We’re asking for the public’s help, and quite frankly, we’re getting it,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Joe Kenny.
Since the war broke out three weeks ago, the NYPD reports 34 hate crimes have been committed – a 7% increase.
The majority of them were antisemitic, with four being anti-Palestinian, according to authorities.
“We’re seeing people being slapped pushed… bordering on free speech before it takes a weird turn,” Kenny explained.
Police said a man threatened a 9-year-old at Sterling Place park Monday night in Crown Heights, wielding a knife and screaming, “I will kill you Jew,” according to an NYPD spokesperson.
“In this moment in rising antisemitism… it’s a moment we need to be concerned about,” said Scott Richman, of the ADL.
It’s also concerning for Palestinians and Muslims like Imam Zein Ramawi.
“Are we subhuman? Are we animals? Don’t we have rights?” he asked.
The Imam founded the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, whose mosque is across from a Jewish temple. He’s praying for peace here and abroad.
“This synagogue has been there for a long time. We have very good relations with them,” he said.
While no houses of worship have been targeted, police remain vigilant.
“The big focus and concern are the lone wolves who can be radicalized sitting at home call out to take action,” said Mayor Eric Adams.
A rally will be held Wednesday night at Columbia University with students, alumni and community leaders to call for more to be done to protect Jews on college campuses. It’s being hosted by a grassroots group called #EndJewHatred.