Three men were charged with hate crimes after police said they yelled antisemitic statements to four people standing outside a New York synagogue, damaged a car and attacked two Jewish teenagers with a baseball bat.
Haider Anjam, 20, and Ashan Azad, 19, both of Brooklyn, were arrested Wednesday on charges of harassment and aggravated harassment as a hate crime, according to the New York City Police Department.
Anjam faces an additional charge of menacing as a hate crime.
The NYPD announced Tuesday that Danial Shaukat, 20, also of Brooklyn, was arrested on a charge of aggravated harassment as a hate crime. He has since been arraigned on additional charges, including assault as a hate crime and harassment, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. His bail was set at $5,000 or $2,500 case.
It was not clear Thursday if the suspects had attorneys. Anjam and Azad had not been arraigned as of Thursday.
The men are accused of pulling up to Agudath Israel of Sixteenth Avenue in the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn on Saturday night in a blue Toyota Camry and yelling “anti-Jewish statements” at a group of four men outside the synagogue, police said.
A criminal complaint said the men yelled “Free Palestine. We’ll kill all the Jews.”
The four men who were outside the synagogue went inside and locked the door, at which point the men in the Camry got out of the car and started banging on the door, police said. The suspects then kicked the side-view mirror off a 2014 Audi Q7, causing more than $250 in damage, said police, who released surveillance video of the incident.
Police said the same three men are suspected of confronting two Jewish teenagers shortly after harassing the men at the synagogue, NBC New York reported.
The criminal complaint against Anjam said he and at least one other suspect demanded one victim declare “free Palestine,” and when the victim didn’t they struck him on the face, head and lip multiple times with a closed fist and put him in a chokehold.
Anjam and at least one other suspect then asked another victim to declare the same thing, and when he didn’t, they struck him on the back of the head with closed fists, the criminal complaint said.
The incidents come as an apparent uptick of antisemitic vandalism and incidents across the country, reported to police and shared on social media as deadly fighting between Israelis and Palestinians escalated in the Middle East.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday that the NYPD would be out “in force in Jewish communities to protect people.”
And Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday directed state police to increase patrols at downstate synagogues, schools and other Jewish community facilities.
“I am sickened by the series of anti-Semitism acts in New York City and across the state,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This behavior does not represent who we are as New Yorkers, and the cowards responsible for these despicable acts are only seeking to divide and intimidate us — but we will never let hate win.”