BROOKLYN — Political leaders are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved a string of possible anti-Semitic attacks in Crown Heights.
There have been at least nine attacks against Jewish people in the area since September, police said. In several incidents the victim was punched seemingly at random while walking past a group of young men, leading some to believe the attacks may be part of a street game called "knockout."
“We have zero tolerance for hate crimes, and these ‘knockout’ attacks in Crown Heights are no exception," said Public Advocate-elect Letitia James in a statement.
James is offering the reward along with Brooklyn councilman David Greenfield and Councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch.
In the most recent assault a 19-year-old Hasidic man was walking on Kingston Avenue near Crown Street on Nov. 10 when a group of eight young men approached him and one of them punched him in the face, according to police.
A 12-year-old Jewish boy was also punched and thrown to the sidewalk by a group of 15 young men on Nov. 6, the leaders said. Police could not confirm that attack.
The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the assaults and trying to determine if there is a "clear pattern" in the attacks, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said during a press conference last week.
Anyone with information about these incidents is urged to contact the NYPD's anonymous Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.