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13 And Counting: NYPD Probing New Year's Day Attack On Young Jewish Man In Williamsburg

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The numbers keep getting more troubling.

Police are investigating more incidents of violence against Jews, including one that happened at around 1 p.m. on Wednesday along Broadway in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

Witnesses told CBS2's Dave Carlin a 22-year-old Hasidic Jewish man was hit with hate speech and then with fists. It marked the 13th attack on a Jewish person in New York City since Dec. 23.

Witness Moses Weiser said it began with two women yelling slurs and when the victim called 911 they allegedly attacked him, using his own cellphone as a weapon.

"They took him in, they threw him down to the ground and broke his phone and threw the phone to his head," Weiser said.

Weiser said the victim flagged down police officers who caught up to the women at Rutledge Street and Broadway outside a discount store, which is across the street from the 90th Precinct station house.

Police said they expected to charge the women, ages 24 and 34.

"It's unbelievable what's going on. It's a shame," Weiser said.

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"Whey were obviously making fun of him cause he was Jewish and he was targeted cause he was Jewish," Jack hershkovich said.

Less than a day earlier, Hershkovich says his 15-year-old son was riding the bus home from school in Gravesend Tuesday when he was robbed at knife point by two men.

"They took the yarmulke off his head... took his ear pods off his ear...  They pushed him, threatened him, but then they ended up getting off the bus."

Boosted CrimeStoppers rewards, extra grant money for security and extra patrols haven't completely satisfied some residents. They say law enforcement's top priority should be catching all attackers.

There were at least 10 attacks against the Jewish community in New York last week. Two happened in Crown Heights and may have been committed by the same group, CBS2's Nick Caloway reported earlier Wednesday.

crown heights attack
(Credit: @chabadlubavitch)

Police released videos of two recent attacks they believe may share the same group of suspects. The first shows a group approach then punch a 56-year-old Hasidic man in Crown Heights last Tuesday; knocking him to the ground. Minutes later and just blocks away, a group hits another Hasidic man over the head with a folded chair.

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As the anti-Semitic violence continues to surge, the fear and disgust is growing.

In Crown Heights, the Guardian Angels have started patrolling the streets again; alongside the NYPD and state troopers.

"They're starting to call the Guardian Angels as they did in 70s, 80s, and early 90s. We shouldn't have to go back to that period of time. We became such a better city and now we're beginning to slip back to the abyss," the group's founder, Curtis Sliwa said.

The volunteer safety patrols, in their red berets, are a sign of the times for many.

"Seeing the red jackets and hats and Curtis Sliwa reminded me of being here during the riots of '91," Rochel Bernstein said.

"To come patrol this section and to prevent such outrage like the riots of 1991 then they're pure angels," Rabbi Hager added.

Wednesday morning, Gov. Cuomo toured Williamsburg and directed state police to add patrols in Jewish neighborhoods across the state.

Mayor de Blasio says additional NYPD strategic response officers will also be on the streets.

"The mayor and governor they just come and give lip service. We want to see policies that will actually keep our neighborhood safe," Moshiach Now told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

Some people in the Jewish community say as scary as these attacks are, it's more important than ever to remain vigilant.

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