BAY RIDGE, Brooklyn — An attacker repeatedly punched a man outside a Brooklyn Foot Locker on Sunday in an incident being investigated by the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force.
Blake Zavadsky, 21, was waiting for the store, located near 86th Street and Fourth Avenue, to open when an unidentified man walked up, made anti-Jewish statement and beat him, police said.
Zavadsky said he’d been planning to buy a new pair of sneakers that day. He was waiting outside the store while wearing an Israeli Defense Forces hoodie.
“He said I have five seconds to take it off or he’s going to punch me,” Zavadsky said about the attacker.
When Zavadsky refused, the attacker threw iced coffee on him and punched him.
“I blacked out,” Zavadsky said.
The attacker fled on foot toward Fourth Avenue, police said. The victim, who suffered a laceration, bruising and swelling, was treated at the scene by emergency medical services.
Zavadsky said he plans to keep wearing the sweatshirt.
Gov. Kathy Hochul tweeted about the attack, saying anti-Semitism has no place in New York. She said state police would assist in the investigation.
Police asked for help identifying the attacker.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).