Hate crimes put Brooklyn residents on edge
A spree of hate crime incidents during the weekend has Brooklyn residents “shaken,” one councilman said yesterday.
Local politicians gathered yesterday to demand more police in Brooklyn as officers searched for the suspects behind a startling anti-Semitic incident Friday in Midwood, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. Someone spray painted “KKK” on a red van and set three cars on fire. Nobody was injured in the attack.
Midwood residents marched with officials yesterday in an afternoon “Walk for Tolerance.”
Investigators are processing fingerprints lifted from 27 Corona bottles near the car fire scene, Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes told reporters.
The same day as the Midwood incident, a Hasidic man was punched repeatedly in Williamsburg on Friday, said Councilman Steven Levin, who represents Greenpoint and Williamsburg.
Although cops do not consider the Williamsburg assault a hate crime, Levin said that after the incidents, “Residents seem shaken.”
“Residents in Williamsburg ought to be able to walk down their own streets without fear of being attacked,” Levin said. “Especially during the Jewish Sabbath, we need increased police patrols.”
A Williamsburg grandmother told Levin’s office she was scared to walk down the street with her grandkids.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the Friday incident may have coincided with the 73rd anniversary of Kristallnacht.
“(It) was clearly taken to coincide with the anniversary of Kristallnacht,” added Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
Attacks against Jews in the past few weeks:
Three cars were lit on fire in Midwood Friday morning. Swastikas, “KKK” and “F— Jews” were painted on benches nearby.
Franco Rodriguez, 40, was arrested Friday in Queens after police say he spray painted swastikas on a church, synagogue and three libraries.
A Hasidic man was attacked in Williamsburg on Friday night. Police say it was not a hate crime, but a councilman says it makes residents concerned.
Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.