(JTA) — Austrian police arrested a man who is suspected of a hate crime against a Jewish man in a shopping mall near Vienna.
The alleged victim was shopping Tuesday at a supermarket inside a shopping mall in St. Polten, a city in lower Austria, while wearing a Star of David necklace, the news website Heute.at reported. The man, 53, allegedly was taunted with anti-Semitic slurs by a group of young men before he was attacked by one of the men, according to the report.
The alleged assailant, 21, hit and kicked the victim, prompting police to intervene and arrest him. The victim required medical treatment, the report said, but it did not elaborate on his injuries.
During questioning, the alleged perpetrator admitted to hitting the Jewish man but denied making any anti-Semitic speech or that the attack was an anti-Semitic act.
The report, which named neither man, did not contain the suspect’s explanation as to why he hit the Jewish shopper.
The victim told Heute that St. Polten is “one of the worst areas in terms of anti-Semitism,” adding that he was considering moving elsewhere.
In 2014, the number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in Austria nearly doubled to 255 from 137 the previous year.