UPDATE: This story was last updated at 4:35 p.m. Monday to note the victim was 60, not 20, and the attack is not being investigated as a hate crime. Other new information is included.
NEW YORK (JTA) — A Jewish man was hospitalized after being beaten and robbed in a New York City neighborhood with a large Orthodox Jewish population.
The attack of a 60-year-old man early Monday in the Midwood section of Brooklyn was recorded on a nearby home’s surveillance video. The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force was notified, according to JP Updates,
The victim, whose first name is Eli, was walking down a residential street of single-family homes when a man came from behind, punched him at least four times and threw him to the sidewalk. With the help of an accomplice, the assailant then stole the victim’s iPhone and wallet. The victim was kicked in the head several times, before the assailant and his accomplice, both wearing hoodies, according to WPIX TV, fled the scene in a black car driven by a third man.
Hatzalah, the Jewish emergency rescue service, took the victim to Maimonides Medical Center, where he was admitted in stable condition and received 70-80 stitches to his head, WPIX reported.
“I’m shocked that this could happen in our neighborhood, and in such a safe community,” New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind told JP Updates. “This maliciousness and rampant violence cannot continue.”
Hikind told WPIX: “We don’t think this is a bias attack, but the commanding officer of the 66th Precinct is handing it over to the bias unit because you never know.”
City Council member David Greenfield called the robbery “shockingly brutal,” according to JP Updates.
“It is heartbreaking that, especially during the holiday season, outrageous crimes like this are happening in our very own backyard,” he said. “We can’t tolerate these kinds of crimes in New York City.”
Hikind and New York State Sen. Simcha Felder are offering a $3,000 reward for information leading to the perpetrators’ arrest. Greenfield is offering a $1,000 reward. According to WPIX, Shomrim, a Jewish security patrol, is stepping up its activity in the neighborhood.