Detectives are investigating whether a man who was stabbed in Brooklyn on Wednesday morning was the victim of a hate crime, authorities say.
Authorities say that the 25-year-old victim was walking on Empire Boulevard in Crown Heights at about 11:30 a.m. when an attacker came up behind him and stabbed him in the back, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
The victim ran to a nearby store and called 911 after the stabbing, authorities say. I medic who was just a few storefronts away heard the call on his radio and jumped in to help.
“I was in my shop when my radio came alive and said possible stab victim right here down at check cashing, so I ran down,” Shomrim volunteer Mendy Reitport, who's also a friend of the victim, said.
“I came into the shop where he was, spoke to him, asked him what happened. He showed me his back, where I saw the cut on his shirt, blood coming out,” Reitport said.
The young man was taken to Kings County Hospital and is recovering from a collapsed lung, Boyce said.
“The victim just got married 10 days ago. This is not something any young bride wants to hear,” Reitport said.
Boyce said that the man practiced Hasidic Judaism and was dressed in the religious sect’s traditional garb.
“We’re looking at it as a possible hate crime because he’s dressed in that fashion,” Boyce said.
Boyce said the attacker didn’t say anything to the man before stabbing him.
Nachman Rivkin, a friend of the victim, said he was a nice guy who would never have done anything to provoke his attacker.
“He never could have hurt a fly, could never imagine him doing anything to anyone to even provoke in the slightest manner,” Rivkin said.
Anyone with information about the attacker should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.