Orthodox Jewish Man Stabbed in Brooklyn; Victim in Stable Condition (VIDEO)
An off-duty volunteer for Brooklyn-based Jewish ambulance service Hatzalah was stabbed in the back on Tuesday night while walking in Crown Heights, local blogs reported.
The victim, identified as 34-year-old Dovid Katz, was treated on the scene by his colleagues and then rushed to the nearby Kings County Hospital, where he was reported to be in stable condition, sources said.
According to the report, he did not see the attacker, who approached from behind and then quickly fled the scene following the assault. One witness cited by a local blog described the assailant as an “African-American male wearing a hoodie,” but noted that “this has not been confirmed.” The attacker is still at large.
Local website Crownheights.info warned local residents, “Please beware of your surroundings and be extra cautious when going outside until the assailant is apprehended.”
A leader of the largely Chabad Chasidic local Jewish community also called on residents to be on guard.
“People have to be very vigilant; there are no coincidences here. There are a lot of people who hate us, and the haters are going to use every excuse they can to come after Jews,” Zaki Tamir, Chairman of the Board of the local Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, told The Algemeiner. “I don’t know if it is a hate crime or mugging, but it’s hard to imagine it is an isolated incident.”
Noting the current wave of stabbing attacks sweeping Israel, another local website, Collive.com, said that the New York Police Department “could not be reached for comment about whether the attack was terror-related.”
The blog later quoted NYPD Assistant Chief Steven Powers, Commanding Officer of Patrol Borough Brooklyn South, who said that the “possibility of a bias crime” is being explored.
“Considering the climate that is going on right now around the world, we have to be more vigilant than ever,” Tamir said further. “When people search for Judaism online they find us. We’re a target; there is no question about that.”
Yaacov Behrman, a Crown Heights community activist, told The Algemeiner that locals were “on edge” and that the “NYPD has already added patrols to increase security.”
However, he added, “We don’t know the motive and the police investigation is ongoing.”
The stabbing took place in close proximity to the Bedford-Union Armory, where the annual International Kinus Hashluchim convention of Chabad rabbis is set to begin on Wednesday, Collive.com said.
An NYPD source told the blog that security at the conference will be stepped up as a result of the incident.
Tamir noted that the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council is in constant contact with the NYPD.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams visited the scene of the stabbing to reassure local residents. “We want to make sure the community is safe,” he said.
Watch a video of Adams’ comments below: