Jewish man sucker-punched, kicked in antisemitic Brooklyn attack

A disturbing wave of hate crimes against Jewish people has left communities in New York City on edge and officials and faith leaders calling for people to unite.

In the most recent incident, a Jewish man was left bruised and bloodied after being attacked in front of his apartment building in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

"He sucker punched me, pushed me over, assaulted me," said the victim, Joshua Merenfeld. 

Merenfeld says he was simply having a cigarette at about 7 p.m. Thursday night when he was attacked from behind. 

According to Merenfeld, his attacker knocked him to the ground and repeatedly kicked him in the back while yelling antisemitic slurs.

"I want this person caught," Merenfeld told FOX 5 NY. "This is a dangerous person."

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Meanwhile, in another hate crime in Brooklyn, a suspect set fire to a Jewish-Japanese fusion restaurant in Williamsburg.

Surveillance video released by the NYPD showed the man calmly setting window tarps on fire that had the image of the Star of David.

"I know tensions are high, but that’s pretty surprising," said one neighbor.

Mayor Adams and religious leaders of all faiths gathered at City Hall Friday to address the escalating hatred.  

"It is more important than ever that we stand together as one," Adams said.

"Islamophobia and antisemitism or any anti to anyone or any group is our shared enemies," said Imam Shamsi Ali of the Jamaica Muslim Center in Queens. 

Mayor Adams said that while Hanukkah celebrations and other Jewish events have been canceled in other states, that will not happen here.  

"New York City will not be put in a place where fear and hate dictates how we live," Adams said.