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Surveillance Video Shows Suspect In Alleged Brooklyn Anti-Semitic Hate Crime

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - The NYPD has released surveillance video of a suspect accused of a hate crime in Brooklyn.

It's the latest incident in a recent spike of anti-Semitism in our area.

Video released by the NYPD overnight shows the suspect riding his bicycle down a sidewalk. Police say he cycled his way behind a 27-year-old man, and as soon as he got close enough, he slapped the back of the victim's head, knocking his yarmulke off before cycling away. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

"It's like war on the Jewish people. That's what it's like," said former assemblyman Dov Hikind. "We have never seen anything like what is happening now."

Police say in this incident, the victim wasn't seriously hurt, CBS2's Marc Liverman reported.

It happened Wednesday just after 2 p.m. near the corner of Flushing and Norstrand Avenue in Williamsburg.

The suspect was last seen wearing red headphones, a gray and black jacket and was riding a silver BMX bike. He's between 15-20 years old.

"There's a lot of fear right now in the Jewish community in Brooklyn and they're not sure what's next for them, said ADL,New York/ New Jersey Regional Director Evan Bernstein.

The latest numbers from the NYPD show an 86 percent increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes since the start of the year. That's up from 67 percent just a month ago.

Just a few days ago, a message appeared at the Jewish Children's Museum in Crown Heights.

"It's extremely, extremely horrible," said Devorah Halberstam, co-founder of the Jewish Children's Museum.

The words "Hitler is coming" were written on a billboard on Thursday, in an area that sees lots of children, on a billboard meant to encourage visitors to write positive messages.

"It's devastating to the museum I represent," Halberstam said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered the state police hate crimes task force to help in the investigation at the Children's Museum. So far, police haven't said if they have any leads.

Anyone with any information is asked to call NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by Tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.

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