An Orthodox Jewish man was walking down a Brooklyn street when a man and woman hit him over the head several times with an unknown object Monday night, police said.
The 65-year-old man was walking down Wilson Street at Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg just after 11 p.m. when he was approached by the man and woman, who hit him over the head with the object and punched him before running off, according to the NYPD.
Police said their hate crimes task force is investigating the attack on the Hasidic man as a possible bias crime, even though no anti-Semitic language was used during the attack.
The attack is one of many recent incidents in a predominantly Hasidic portion of southern Williamsburg. On June 29, police said a man was hit on the head with a bottle on Driggs Avenue. And since March, there have been numerous reports of Orthodox Jews being shot with paintball guns.
Police have not said whether the attacks are connected, but the Anti-Defamation League says there has been an uptick in bias crimes in Brooklyn over the last couple of years.
“It’s unacceptable,” said ADL regional director Evan Bernstein. “Any kind of physical assault period is unacceptable. Especially when it’s related around targeting somebody because of how they look, what kind of religion they are.”
The long-term solution, he said, has to involve more than just policing.
"It’s about education,” Bernstein said. “Whenever there's bias, whenever there's hate, we know it’s a learned behavior. Educating people when they're young is critical."