By COLlive reporter
The rise of attacks on Jews in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights area is “creating anxiety and fear in the community,” said Zaki Tamir, an attorney who is the chairman of the local Vaad Hakohol.
The latest assault occurred on Wednesday when 3 black men mercilessly beat 2 Jewish men and left without robbing them.
The NYPD arrested and identified 18-year-old Navar Walters and 20-year-old Teshon Bannister as the attackers. Both will be charged with assault as a hate crime. They are searching for a third unidentified man.
One victim was a 51-year-old man who was taken to NYU Langone Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries. The second was a 22-year-old yeshiva student from Australia identified as Mendel.
“It was just after 1 a.m.,” Mendel told the New York Post. “I was talking on the phone with my father in Australia on President Street — really in the heart of Crown Heights — when suddenly, from behind me out of nowhere, I just got punched in the face really, really hard.”
The bochur said the attack left him stunned. “They didn’t say anything at all,” Mendel remembered. “Next thing I know, I was on the floor — my yarmulke and glasses in the gutter somewhere.”
Mendel told The Post that the trio didn’t even try to take anything from him after the sucker-punch. “It was just an attack of hate and anti-Semitism,” he said. “I guess ’cause I look identifiably Jewish.”
In a video message to COLlive.com, Tamir announced the formation of a neighborhood watch comprised of unarmed volunteers. “If you are able to see, you are able to help; if you have a mouth and a cellphone, you are able to report,” he said.
“We are not here as a vigilante group and don’t want to risk any safety issues,” Tamir stressed. Volunteers of the watch will be asked to “observe and report – whether to Shmira, Shomrim or police, depending on the degree of the individual or circumstance,” he said.
Tamir says he divided the Jewish area of the neighborhood into 15 sectors and is asking for residents to volunteer their time to patrol their sector for specific hours at night by car or on foot.
Here are the sectors planned:
Sector 1 East.
St Johns and Lincoln Place. From Albany to Rochester Ave.
Sector 1 West.
St Johns and Lincoln Place Nostrand to Albany Ave.
Sector 2 East.
Eastern Parkway (both sides) From Albany to Rochester Ave.
Sector 2 West.
Eastern Parkway (both sides) Nostrand to Albany Ave.
Sector 3 East.
Union and President Streets. From Albany to Rochester Ave.
Sector 3 West.
Union And President streets. From Nostrand to Albany Ave.
Sector 4 East.
Carroll and Crown Streets. From Albany to Rochester Ave.
Sector 4 West.
Carroll and Crown streets. From Nostrand to Albany Ave.
Sector 5 East.
Montgomery St and Empire Blvd. From Albany to Rochester Ave.
Sector 5 West.
Montgomery St and Empire Blvd. From Nostrand to Albany Ave.
Sector 6 Includes East/West.
All of Lefferts Ave and Sterling St. (includes Lamont Ct and Balfor Pl.)
Sector 7 East.
East New York Ave and Maple St. From Albany to Rochester Ave.
Sector 7 West.
East New York Ave and Maple St. From Nostrand to Albany Ave.
Sector 8 Includes East/West.
All of Midwood to Winthrop.
All Patrol emails will be forwarded straight to the coordinator for each sector.
Those wishing to participate should email [email protected] “Write in the subject line which sector you are in. For example, if you live on President and Troy write in the subject “3 East Coordinator” or “3 East Patrol.” If you are willing to be the sector coordinator put the word coordinator in the subject line. Otherwise, write Patrol. In the body of the email write your full name and phone and what hours you are available,” he said.