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NYPD Investigating Rash Of Recent Attacks On Jews

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The number of attacks against the Jewish community in the city this week continues to rise.

The NYPD is investigating at least five anti-Semitic incidents that took place in less than 72 hours.

Surveillance video shows one of the attacks in Crown Heights, Brooklyn on Tuesday. A 56-year-old Orthodox Jewish man is seen walking down the sidewalk and gets attacked from behind by at least four people.

The day before, a 65-year-old man wearing a yarmulke was attacked in broad daylight in Midtown Manhattan.

CBS2's Nick Caloway talked on the phone Thursday with the victim of that Midtown attack. He said he was looking down at his phone when someone yelled an anti-Semitic slur. Then he was sucker-punched.

A 28-year-old man from Miami was charged with assault as a hate crime in the attack.

That incident was among a rash of attacks against Jews in the city from Monday to Wednesday. The NYPD confirmed it is investigating five incidents. One was in Williamsburg, one was in Sheepshead Bay, two were in Crown Heights, and the one in Midtown.

"These are physical, violent assaults that not only affect the victim, they affect the victim's family. It affects the community, and it's something that just doesn't go away," said Evan Bernstein, New York and New Jersey regional director of the Anti-Defamation League.

Bernstein said there's become a normalization of attacks on Jews, and the surge in violence is alarming.

"Certainly, the sheer number of incidents that we're seeing, the rise of anti-Semitic hate crimes in New York, are making, especially openly Orthodox, New Yorkers take pause," Bernstein said.

CBS2's Ali Bauman learned Thursday night that police have charged a 42-year-old homeless woman with a hate crime for an attack that happened earlier Thursday. Police say the suspect yelled anti-Semitic slurs at a 34-year-old woman walking in Sheepshead Bay with a 3-year-old child, then hit the woman in the face, which caused swelling and bruising.

Meanwhile, new surveillance video shows the man police are looking to question in their investigation of an anti-Semitic harassment incident that happened in Crown Heights early Tuesday morning.

Authorities say around 1:45 a.m., a 25-year-old man was walking on Kingston Avenue near President Street when a group of men started cursing at him from across the street. In turn, the man took out his cellphone to record the group. That's when police say they threw an unknown liquid at the man and took off.

In Williamsburg, witnesses said a group of teenagers hit 6- and 7-year-old boys in the lobby of a residential building Monday before running away.

"Our people know what it's like to contribute to a society, and we know what it's like to be oppressed. America is a story of freedom. Chanukah is a story of freedom," Mendel Rosner, of Crown Heights, said. "A Jew should definitely be proud just like everyone else should be proud. Everyone else should be proud to walk down the street, that's the message."

The ADL is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to arrests in the attacks.

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