A 25-year-old Jewish man dressed in Hasidic clothing was stabbed in the back on Wednesday as he walked along a street in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, and his assailant was being sought in what the police were investigating as a possible hate crime, officials said.
The victim sustained a collapsed lung, the authorities said.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked about the stabbing of a Crown Heights Jewish resident during a press conference on Wednesday.
“We’re very concerned about that,” de Blasio said, according to a report in the NY Times. “We’re looking at it as a potential hate crime.”
Laiby Brikman, a newlywed 25-year-old, was stabbed in the back while walking in front of 646 Empire Boulevard, between Kingston and Albany Avenues, around 11:40 AM.
The attacker was a black male who stabbed Brikman without uttering a word. Robert Boyce, the chief of detectives, said that Brikman fled and called 911 himself.
“He is dressed in Hasidic garb,” Chief Boyce said about the victim. “Right now we’re looking at it as a possible hate crime because he’s dressed in that fashion.”
Police are hoping that security footage captured by the Safe Zone 24 home security firm will help in capturing the assailant. It showed a man whose face was unrecognizable in a black jacket and blue hooded sweatshirt, the Times said.
Video: suspect seen running from crime scene holding a bloody knife/SafeZone24
The Times reported that investigators were also exploring whether the episode on Wednesday was connected to the stabbing of a Hatzalah volunteer in Crown Heights in the fall.
In both cases the victims were stabbed without a word being spoken by the assailant, according to a police official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a continuing investigation.