NEW YORK (AP) — New York City is increasing its police presence in some Brooklyn neighborhoods with large Jewish populations after apparently anti-Semitic attacks during the Hanukkah holiday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said after the latest episode happened Friday.
Besides making officers more visible in Borough Park, Crown Heights and Williamsburg, police will boost visits to houses of worship and some other places, the mayor tweeted.
“Anti-Semitism is an attack on the values of our city — and we will confront it head-on,” the Democrat wrote.
Around the city, police have gotten at least five reports this week of attacks apparently propelled by anti-Jewish bias.
In addition to heightened visibility, there will be increased visits to houses of worship and other critical areas in the community.
Anti-Semitism is an attack on the values of our city — and we will confront it head-on.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 27, 2019
The latest happened around 12:40 a.m. Friday, when a woman slapped three other women in the face and head after encountering them on a Crown Heights corner, police said. The victims, who range in age from 22 to 31, suffered minor pain, police said.
Tiffany Harris, 30, was arrested on a hate-crime harassment charge.
She was awaiting arraignment Friday morning. It wasn’t clear whether she had a lawyer who could comment on the charges, and no working telephone number for Harris could immediately be found.
On Monday a man was arrested for physically assaulting a 65-year-old Orthodox Jewish man while allegedly shouting anti-Semitic slurs.
Steven Jorge, 28, of Miami was arrested shortly after the incident and charged with assault as a hate crime, local media reported.
The suspect allegedly shouted “Fuck you Jew bastard” before punching the victim, who was wearing a black yarmulke, according to statement Tuesday from Dov Hikind, a former New York state assemblyman and founder of the Americans Against Antisemitism coalition.
Jorge continued to kick his victim after he fell to the ground on East 41st Street, on the Upper East Side in New York, police said.
The victim was treated at the Mount Sinai Medical Center for bruising and cuts.
Jorge is being held without bail, and a judge ordered a psychiatric exam for him, court records show. A message was left Friday for Jorge’s lawyer.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo told a state hate crimes task force to help police investigate the attack, calling it “a horrific and cowardly act of anti-Semitism.”
“It’s even more despicable that it occurred over the holidays,” the Democratic governor said in a statement Wednesday. Hanukkah began Sunday.
The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday condemned the rash of hate crimes against Jews in New York City.
“We are appalled at the sheer frequency and aggressive nature of these incidents,” said Evan Bernstein, regional director for ADL New York and New Jersey.
“They’re made particularly heinous by the fact they are occurring during a time when society is supposed to come together in peace for the holidays, and as the Jewish community is particularly on edge as it’s reeling from the deadly attack in Jersey City on Dec. 10,” Bernstein said.
The New York Police Department’s Hate Crime Task Force is also investigating three other episodes that may have been motivated by anti-Semitism:
— A man reported that a group of teenagers converged on his 6-year-old son and another boy, 7, and hit them from behind in a Williamsburg apartment building lobby Monday night. The attackers fled.
— A 25-year-old man told police he was walking on a Crown Heights street early Tuesday when a group of people started yelling anti-Semitic slurs at him and one threw a beverage at him. The suspects fled.
— Later Tuesday in Crown Heights, a 56-year-old man said that a group of people approached him, and that one of them punched him, while he was walking. No arrests have been made.
Times of Israel Staff and JTA contributed to this report