Earlier this month, two Orthodox Jewish men were assaulted in Brooklyn by a 14-year-old boy who sprayed them in the face with a fire extinguisher and punched one of them, according to the police statement released on Monday. The teenager was arrested and charged with hate crimes.
According to the police, the teenager was charged with assault as a hate crime, assault, and aggravated harassment for the incidents that occurred on August 21. His identity is being withheld due to the fact that he is a minor.
A group of people approached a man who was 72 years old on Lee Avenue and Taylor Street just south of the Williamsburg Bridge approach in Williamsburg at around 6:05 in the morning, according to the police. This was the first of two incidents that occurred. One of the people in the group used the fire extinguisher to spray the victim.
The group proceeded immediately to the north side of the bridge approach, where they assaulted another Orthodox man at the junction of Roebling and Third Streets, according to the statements provided by the police.
They are accused of punching a man in the face after first spraying him with the extinguisher.
Authorities say that both men were on their way to their synagogues to participate in morning prayers.
During a press conference in Brooklyn to announce the arrest, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said that the men were assaulted because of their Jewish origin.
“I’m thankful to report that the victims in these series of attacks are now recovering. No one deserves to be the victim of such senseless hateful violence. No one,” Sewell said.