By COLlive reporter
Leiby Brikman, the victim of an unsolved stabbing 2 weeks ago in Crown Heights, was released from the New York University Hospital this week.
“America is supposed to be a safe place where everyone can practice their own religion,” the 25-year-old newlywed Lubavitch man told Reuven Blau of the New York Daily News.
“When a hate crime like this happens it brings to mind my grandparents being killed,” Brikman said alluding to his four family elders who were targeted because of their faith in Europe before and during World War II.
Brikman, who got married a month ago in Crown Heights, was walking a few feet away from his apartment in the neighborhood on February 10 when he felt a sharp pain in his back.
The stabber was captured on surveillance footage, showing a black man fleeing the scene with a bloody knife in hand.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. An arrest has yet to be made.
Suspect seen running from crime scene holding a bloody knife / SafeZone24
Brikman used his interview with the Daily News to urge the NYPD to boost security in the area — where 3 Jewish people have been stabbed over the past year.
“I hope police take it seriously,” he said, speaking from his parents’ home in Seagate, Brooklyn, where he is recuperating. “The neighborhood needs more security to prevent the next attack.”
Recalling details of the attack, Brikman said that after the stabbing he grabbed his phone and tried to call the Hatzalah ambulance service. But he didn’t have the number so he stumbled into a nearby store asking for help.
“I was shocked,” said his wife Mushka Brikman (nee Moscowitz), a Chicago native. “I just ran to the hospital.”
As reported on COLlive.com, Leiby Brikman suffered from a collapsed lung which kept him in the hospital for a longer than expected period in two hospitals.
Doctors discovered internal bleeding due to a major blood vessel that has been damaged. All told, he lost a liter and a half of blood, the Daily News wrote.
COLlive.com readers and the Chabad community have enthusiastically joined a matching grants online fundraiser that donated $110,702 to the medical expenses.
“Leiby and Mushka thank you all for being there for them during this challenge,” wrote his parents Rabbi Chaim and Rikvah Brikman, Directors of Chabad by the Ocean serving the Sea Gate and Coney Island Jewish communities.
“You have shown us such friendship, care and love. We are overwhelmed by your calls, visits and generosity. You have opened your hearts to our situation,” they wrote on Facebook.
Back in Sea Gate, the Brikmans launched a Mezuzah campaign to encourage locals to secure their homes and loved ones with a kosher Mezuzah on their door posts. As of Sunday, they reached 205 Mezuzahs.