A 78-year-old Jewish woman was punched in the face by a group of teenagers while walking in the Midwood section of Brooklyn this weekend, becoming the eighth victim of the so-called knockout attacks that have been occurring in New York City over the past few weeks.
All of the victims so far have been Jewish, Gothamist reports, leading police to investigate whether the incidents, popularized by viral videos of similar attacks in other cities, are a series of hate crimes or random assaults.
The incident happened on Sunday November 9th, but the woman was too scared to report it at first. “Who would do that? Who would attack a 78-year-old woman?” said State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who convinced her to go to police. “This is just hitting someone, attacking someone, it could be my mother, your mother. It’s just scary and crazy.” Police say this is the eighth attack of this kind to occur in Brooklyn in the last few months. “It’s ‘knockout,’ and it happens to be a Jew in each and every case,” Hikind added.
New York City’s Hate Crimes Taskforce is looking for suspects, and there’s a $1,000 reward for information that leads to arrests in connection with the incidents.
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.