A 14-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with hate crimes for spraying two Orthodox Jewish men in the face with a fire extinguisher and punching one of them in Brooklyn earlier this month, police said Monday.
The teen, whose name is being held due to his age, was charged with assault as a hate crime, assault and aggravated harassment for the Aug. 21 attacks, cops said.
In the first of two incidents, a group of people approached a 72-year-old man on Lee Ave. and Taylor St., just south of the Williamsburg Bridge approach in Williamsburg, around 6:05 a.m., police said. A person in the group then sprayed the victim with the fire extinguisher.
The group quickly made their way to the north side of the bridge approach and attacked another Orthodox man at the intersection of Roebling St. and Third St., cops said.
They allegedly sprayed a 66-year-old man with the extinguisher, then punched him in the face.
Both men were walking to morning prayers at their synagogue, police said.
At a Brooklyn news conference announcing the arrest, Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the men were attacked because they are Jewish.
“I’m thankful to report that the victims in these series of attacks are now recovering,” Sewell said. ” No one deserves to be the victim of such senseless hateful violence. No one.”