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NYPD: Attack On Rabbi In Brooklyn Investigated As A Hate Crime

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Police said rabbi visiting from Israel was beaten with his own umbrella on a subway platform in Brooklyn this week, as his attackers called him a "dirty, bloody Jew" among other epithets.

As CBS2's Ilana Gold reported, Rabbi Haim was in New York for a cancer treatment. He said such an attack was the last thing he needed to deal with, but now, he is focusing on talking to detectives at the 90th Police Precinct and trying to help them find the attackers.

Haim called the incident "very, very sad."

The incident took place at the Marcy Avenue J Train elevated station in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Monday at 4 p.m.

"They beat me very hard in my head, and I have pain," Haim said.

Haim said he was waiting for the train to visit a friend in Manhattan, when a teen tried grabbing his wallet from his back pocket.

"I look at him. He says, 'Why are you looking at me?' And he starts to say, 'Bloody Jew,' and bad things – cursing," Haim said.

The problems continued. Haim said two more teens joined in, ripping the umbrella out of his hand and beating him over the head with it.

The teens then kicked him in the leg and back.

"They start to say, 'Dirty Jew, bloody Jew,' and other things," Haim said, "I don't say it. It's not for me. It's not my level to say all the cursing they say."

Police Tuesday evening were investigating the attack as a hate crime.

"They think they have red blood and we have yellow blood," Haim said.

It was a crime the Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg could not ignore.

"It's very hurtful, and it makes angry," said Rose Tannenbaum of Williamsburg.

"Are we going back to the dark ages?" added Rabbi David Neiderman.

And Rabbi Haim was left to recover from the violent attack as he battles cancer on top of it.

"These people think the cancer I have -- it's not enough," Haim said.

He said he just wants police to find his assailants before they target someone else.

"I've never beat nobody; I've never cursed nobody," Haim said.

Police said another bystander who tried to aid Rabbi Haim was also attacked. The three suspects escaped on a Manhattan-bound M Train, police said.

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