CROWN HEIGHTS — A 9-year-old Jewish boy was assaulted in Crown Heights Thursday afternoon in what police are investigating as a possible hate crime — the second such attack in two days, police and sources said.
The boy was riding his bike near Troy Avenue and President Street Thursday afternoon when three male teenagers approached and hit him in the head, police and sources said.
The boy, who refused medical attention at the scene, is believed to be the second victim of a possible hate crime attack in Crown Heights in less than a day. On Wednesday night, a 24-year-old Jewish man walking at the intersection of Albany Avenue and Union Street — just a block away from Thursday's attack — was punched in the face and knocked to the sidewalk by three teenagers, police and sources said.
Both incidents are being investigated as bias crimes, although investigators don’t believe the suspects are the same in both cases, police and sources said.
The latest incident prompted an immediate response from the mayor's office, as Marco Carrion, commissioner of the Mayor's Community Affairs Unit, met with members of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council around midnight Thursday, according to Rabbi Eli Cohen of the CHJCC, who was present for the meeting.
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Though the two assaults may not be directly linked, Cohen said he appreciated the police attention and Commissioner Carrion's prompt response. He said his organization reached out to the mayor's office about the assaults Thursday evening and received a response from the commissioner soon afterwards.
"I think it reflects the seriousness of the situation," Cohen said Friday morning. "There definitely seems to be some sort of pattern of things going on that has to be addressed," he added, referring to not only the two local assaults but also to the fatal shooting of a Crown Heights Hasidic man in Miami last week.
The mayor's office did not respond to requests for comment.
In response to the two assaults, officers from the 71st Precinct will be assigned to more frequent daytime shifts in the area where the incidents took place, according to sources.
A separate incident reported as an attack on a Jewish man Thursday night on Nostrand Avenue and President Street is not being considered a bias incident by investigators, sources said.
In that case, witnesses described the situation as a fight between patrons at a pizza shop on that corner, and it was found to be unrelated to the faith of one of the men involved, sources said.