NYC Jewish man punched, robbed outside his home on first day of Hanukkah: ‘I want this person caught’
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A New York City Jewish man was repeatedly punched and robbed on the first day of Hanukkah outside his home in Brooklyn. 

The suspect approached the victim in front of 906 Eastern Parkway just after 7:30 p.m., police said. The victim, a 40-year-old male, was wearing “traditional Jewish attire,” per the NYPD. 

The suspect repeatedly punched the victim in the head and stole his cellphone while making an antisemitic statement, police said. 

hate crime antisemitic

Joshua Merenfeld says he was attacked while enjoying a cigarette outside his home in Brooklyn.  (WNYW )

The suspect fled into the Kingston Avenue and Eastern Parkway station. The victim was removed to Mount Sinai Beth Israel in stable condition. A photo shared by NYPD shows the suspect at the station dressed in a black durag, purple scarf, matching black jacket and pants with multicolored designs and brown boots. 

The victim has been identified in local reports as 40-year-old Joshua Merenfeld. 

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Merenfeld told FOX 5 NYC he was having a cigarette outside his home when he was attacked from behind. 

“He sucker-punched me, pushed me over, assaulted me,” Merenfeld said. 

Merenfeld told the outlet the attacker knocked him to the ground, repeatedly kicked him, while yelling antisemitic slurs. 

hate crime suspect nypd

NYPD says the suspect fled the scene into the Kingston Ave and Eastern Parkway Station.  (NYPD)

“I want this person caught,” he said. “This is a dangerous person.” 

Thursday’s assault comes amid a steep rise in antisemitic incidents nationwide and around the world amid Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas in response to the militant group’s deadly attack on Oct. 7. 

Earlier that afternoon, a 28-year-old man was arrested for allegedly firing a shotgun into the air and shouting “Free Palestine” outside a synagogue in New York’s capital.

The suspect was later identified as Mufid Fawaz Alkhader, an Iraqi-born U.S. citizen who told investigators he felt affected by events in the Middle East. 

The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating Thursday’s assault as an anti-Jewish incident. Anyone with information on this attack is urged to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477. 

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