A come-from-behind attack of a 41-year-old man walking to a synagogue in Brooklyn on Friday morning has grabbed the attention of the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force.
Police say the victim was walking on New York Avenue around 5:45 a.m. Friday when he was attacked by two unidentified men from behind. The two suspects approached and "repeatedly punched him in the face," police say.
The NYPD Hate Crime Task Force confirmed hours after the incident that its detectives were investigating the incident and asked for anyone with information to reach out on Twitter or call the tip line.
The attack was captured on video by a nearby surveillance camera and published on Twitter by the Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol. The video appears to show the victim walking down the sidewalk when the two suspects approach at different angles and begin throwing punches.
In the span of a few seconds, the suspects delivered their blows and made off with the victim's black bag and prayer shawl. Inside the bag were a number of religious artifacts, according to police.
The Flatbush Shomrim Safety Patrol says the thieves also took the victim's tefillin but was ultimately recovered by a number of volunteers. The group has since offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to their arrests.