Charge ‘knockout’ attacks target Jews
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In the wake of another suspected “knockout” attack on Saturday - this time in Midwood - two lawmakers and a soon-to-be councilman are demanding that the NYPD put more cops on the streets in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods to protect residents.
Jews have been the targets in several of the “knockout” attacks that have taken place in Brooklyn, according to state Sen. Simcha Felder, Councilman David Greenfield and Councilman-elect Chaim Deutsch.
The three men are calling on the NYPD to drastically increase police presence throughout the community, particularly during Shabbos (the Jewish Sabbath), when two recent attacks took place.
The lawmakers are demanding additional officers, temporary lighting at trouble spots and other measures to help prevent future attacks
The request for patrols and safety measures was issued after a young Jewish woman was punched in the head and knocked to the ground by an unknown young African-American man while walking near McDonald Avenue and Avenue M on Saturday afternoon.
In response to the latest attack, Greenfield and Deutsch met with officers from the 66th Precinct in Borough Park on Sunday to discuss the NYPD’s investigation into the series of unprovoked attacks. Felder later joined them in their call for more police action.
The attacks are said to be part of a so-called “knockout game,” in which participants try to knock a pedestrian out cold with one punch. There have been several incidents reported in Brooklyn and in other parts of the city over the past two months.
And it’s not just happening in New York. NBC news recently reported that law enforcement officials in cities all over the country are investigating whether the attacks taking place in their communities are random incidents or part of some type of game played by young thugs.
“More aggressive measures on the part of the NYPD are needed to stop this wave of brutal attacks targeting innocent victims,” Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst) said.
“It is especially disturbing that people of all ages have been assaulted recently, including several elderly women. In addition, two of the recent attacks have occurred in our community on Shabbos, adding to the concern that the community is being targeted by these cowardly individuals,” Greenfield said.
“It is deplorable that people are still being terrorized by these knockout attacks. Every person has a right to feel safe walking in their neighborhoods, without worrying whether or not they will be bashed in the head for being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Felder (D-Borough Park-Midwood) said.
“The recent ‘knockout’ attacks in our community are unacceptable and must be acted upon immediately. Inflicting violence on unsuspecting people is a cowardly act and a crime that must be punished to the fullest extent of the law. As a strong and united community, we need to show those responsible that these heinous crimes will not be tolerated,” Deutsch (D-Sheepshead Bay-Manhattan Beach-Brighton Beach) said.
Deutsch founded Flatbush Shomrim, a volunteer citizen patrol, 20 years ago in response to street crime. He won election to the council in November and will take office in January.
“Violence and hate crimes of any time are not acceptable. We must continue to join together to fight such vicious crimes so that we can continue to live without fear,” Deutsch said.