Two Jewish teens were assaulted in Brooklyn Saturday evening by a group of people who demanded the victims yell antisemitic statements, police said Sunday.
The 17-year-old and 18-year-old victims were walking on Ocean Avenue, near Albemarle Road, around 7:45 p.m. when they were surrounded by a mob of people, according to authorities.
The suspects demanded the victims chant and yell antisemitic statements and then beat them when they refused, police said. The teens were repeatedly punched in the head and one of the suspects put the 17-year-old in a chokehold, according to police.
The suspects then chased the teens with a bat but the victims got away. They reported the incident to police and were treated for injuries at the 66th Precinct, according to the NYPD.
Former state Assemblyman Dov Hikind said the group demanded the victims chant “free Palestine” before the assault. He said a Muslim Uber driver saw the attack and drove the teens to safety.
The suspects took off in a blue Toyota Camry that was later seen near the Agudath Israel of Sixteenth Avenue synagogue in Borough Park, police said.
The occupants of the Camry yelled anti-Israel and antisemitic statements at worshippers before driving off, according to police.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force launched an investigation.
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday urging anyone with information to contact police.
“Enough. The acts of hatred and antisemitism in Brooklyn last night cannot happen. Not in our city, not anywhere in the world,” the mayor said.
De Blasio met with Jewish community leaders Sunday afternoon at the 66th Precinct in Borough Park to discuss the antisemitic incidents. He vowed the suspects will be brought to justice.
“Antisemitism will not be tolerated in New York City,” de Blasio said during a news briefing after the meeting. “We will stomp out antisemitism anywhere we find it.”
The NYPD plans to increase its police presence in “communities of concern” across the city, Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said during the briefing.
Harrison said Critical Response Command officers, the NYPD’s Strategic Response Group and mobile field forces will be deployed to neighborhoods. Additionally, all police vehicles in these communities will have their turret lights flashing as they move through the neighborhoods to deter crime.
When asked about reports of a lack of police presence in Jewish communities over the weekend, Harrison said there was a miscommunication with some borough commanders about whether they could reassign officers from other duties to cover increased patrols. That issue has since been resolved, Harrison said.
De Blasio also said he would look into an unconfirmed report that the members of the synagogue called 911 but police did not show up so they walked over to the local precinct to report the incident.
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).