New York

Brooklyn Head Punch Now Investigated as Hate Crime: NYPD

Police said Sunday they were investigating a sidewalk assault in Brooklyn as a hate crime. 

The victim, a 32-year-old man, was talking to friends in Williamsburg on Friday evening when a man ran up to the group and punched him in the head from behind, police said. He suffered minor injuries. 

The victim Jewish and wearing a shtreimel, a fur hat worn by some Hasidic Jewish men. He had been standing on Throop Avenue at Wallabout Street. 

The Anti-Defamation League offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. 

“We remain increasingly concerned by the number of alleged unprovoked assaults on Orthodox Jewish individuals in Brooklyn in recent weeks,” said Evan R. Bernstein, regional director of ADL for New York and New Jersey.

Last weekend, a boy wearing Hasidic clothing was beaten by a man in an apparently unprovoked attack just a block from Friday's attack, police say.

In this latest attack, video shows a man running up from behind and punching him in the head, then running away. 

Police said the attacker yelled "BLAH!" 

Police said the attacker was between 30 and 35 years old, about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and about 250 pounds. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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