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Arrest Made In Apparent Anti-Semitic Attack In Murray Hill

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Earlier this week, an apparent anti-Semitic attack happened in broad daylight in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan.

Police said a man in a yarmulke was brutally attacked on East 41st Street near Third Avenue just after 11 a.m. on Monday, CBS2's Nick Caloway reported.

The victim said he was looking at his phone when someone yelled anti-Semitic and profane remarks. When he looked up he was punched in the face and then kicked repeatedly while he was on the ground.

"Suddenly out of nowhere he gets belted in the face," said Dov Hikind, founder of the grassroots coalition Americans Against Antisemitism.

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Hikind, a former state assemblyman, spoke to the victim on Tuesday morning.

"This guy is so traumatized, ended up in the hospital. He's going back for MRIs. I mean, his life is changed forever," Hikind said of the victim.

Hikind said attacks like this are on the rise in New York City, as more and more Jews are being attacked for their faith.

Jews told Caloway the violence is alarming. For some, it reminds them of the 1930s, when anti-Semitism was rampant.

"As a matter of fact, I grew up in the South, and we had the Ku Klux Klan burn a cross on our front lawn, because we were Jewish," said Phyllis Bargonetti of Manhattan. "So, yes, it reverberates very deeply with me."

"When you read the paper, it reminds me of that. What you told me just now, it's horrible," added Naomi Schechter of Brooklyn.

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Shortly after the attack, police arrested 48-year-old Steven Jorge of Miami. He was charged with assault as a hate crime, Caloway reported.

The NYPD Bias Unit is investigating. Americans Against Antisemitism is calling on district attorneys across the city to send a clear message, that hate crime offenders will be prosecuted aggressively.

The victim of that crime was treated at Mount Sinai for bruising and cuts.

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