Jewish man attacked, robbed in alleged hate crime speaks out
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The Jewish man who was attacked and robbed on his way to a Brooklyn synagogue didn’t even realize two people were beating him in the caught-on-camera assault that left him bloodied and screaming for help, he told The Post Sunday.
“I thought it was one guy but when I saw the video, I saw that it was two guys,” recalled the 41-year-old, who only identified himself as Levi.
“I was shocked. I don’t remember anything. When I looked at the video, I saw what happened.”
On Friday morning, Levi was headed to the Shar Elizar synagogue in Flatbush to make coffee and prepare for the other congregants when two hooded men rushed him, beat him to the ground and stole religious articles he was holding before running off.
The attack left the married man with bruising around both eyes and cuts on his face. The beatdown is being investigated as a hate crime.
“They were punching me in the face. I had blood on my face, my shirt … everything was bloody,” he recalled, pointing to his eyes, cheek and his shirt.
“I was shouting, ‘Help, help,’ ” he continued, adding he rang the bell of a nearby house and when no one answered, he called Shomrim patrol, an Orthodox Jewish civilian volunteer patrol group.
A congregant who saw Levi after the attack said the religious man “was pretty banged up.”
“He didn’t seem to know where he was. He had blood coming from his nose and cuts on his face. He had blood on his shirt,” the man, who declined to give his name, told The Post.
“I said, ‘What happened?’ I couldn’t understand what he was saying. He could hardly talk. He sounded like he was very shaken up.
“I tried to help him. I asked him, ‘Do you need water? Do you need help?’ Whoever was here tried to help him.”
The congregant said the attack left him feeling “hurt and angry.”
“Such a thing should not happen here in this city,” he said.
“It’s heartbreaking, not just as a Jew but as anyone who lives in the city. We should all be angry … This used to be a beautiful place to live. It’s still beautiful but crime is the biggest issue right now.
“You can understand how devastating this is to anyone, innocent people who live in the city. To be attacked unprovoked, it’s a travesty.”
Anti-Semitic attacks are up 69 percent so far this year as part of a citywide crime surge, according to police data from earlier this month.
There were 113 incidents in the first half of 2021 compared to 67 during the same time period last year. As of Sunday, overall hate crimes are up 118.2 percent so far this year compared to last.
Levi, who works in a clothing store, said he is still healing from the attack and wants to see the suspects arrested.
“I’m feeling good but I got bruises … It could have been worse,” he said.
“I’m not going to stop. I’m going to continue. They are not going to stop me.”
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