By Howard M. Riell
A pair of teenagers have been arrested and two more brought into custody relating to a series of brutal attacks on Chassidic men in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
The punks — Deandre Diagle and Michael Bellevue, both 19 years old, were arrested close to midnight on Wednesday. They were immediately charged in connection with several attacks on Jewish men in Williamsburg.
The other pair of teens may still face pending charges, according to Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.
“A 71-year-old Jewish man told police he was jumped around 5:10 a.m. Monday behind a building on Ross Street, by a group of teens who shoved him to the ground and punched him in the head while going through his pockets,” according to the New York Post.
Another incident was reported soon after just blocks from the first. In this instance, a gang of punks went after a 67-year old chasid as he walked on Clymer Street near Wythe Place.
“And 10 minutes later, the same group sucker-punched a 56-year-old man near Wythe Place and Wilson Street — breaking his orbital bone in the process,” according to the Post. “The victim was taken to Bellevue, where he underwent surgery for his injuries.”
Before the attacks, the slashing of tires belonging to Jews had already been reported.
Even more disheartening than the crimes themselves has been the underwhelming response to them. In June, Jonathan S. Tobin lamented the apparent apathy in a column he penned for the Jewish News Syndicate. As noted, “Last week, the New York City Police Department announced that it saw in the period from Jan. 1, 2019 to May 19, 2019 an 83 percent increase in the number of hate crimes reported. Of these, 59 percent were anti-Semitic in nature. The total of anti-Semitic crimes more than doubled.”
The number of such crimes reported is “not astronomical,” he continued. “The number of hate crimes in 2019 in New York City during this period was 176, with 103 of them being anti-Semitic. But that more doubled the number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2018. At the very least, that ought to prompt some serious questions not only about what is causing the uptick, but also what is to be done about it. While there is a debate in the New York City Council about whether sufficient funds have been allocated towards study of the problem, there doesn’t seem to be much alarm being spread about this surge.”