Borough Park, NY – While many in the Jewish community were busy with preparations for the upcoming holiday this week, others found themselves dealing with paint splatters as three separate paintball incidents occurred on a single night in the Borough Park area.
In the first incident, which took place at 9:30 Tuesday night, a Chasidic man was standing next to his car in front of 5707 12th Avenue when an individual in the front seat of a white Ford SUV pulled up and fired paintballs in his direction. Police said that no words were exchanged and that no one was injured in the incident, but CBS News reported that a synagogue was splattered with paint.
A 14 year old Chasidic boy was the next target, struck by a paintball at the corner of 62nd Street and 11th Avenue. A 48 year old non-Jewish man was the victim of a third attack which took place near 13th Avenue and 67th Street.
Assemblyman Dov Hikind said that he has been in touch with Captain Kenneth Quick of the 66th Precinct who is looking at the string of attacks as possible hate crimes. Hikind noted that that determination will not be made until after those involved are in custody, but said that because the incidents happened in Borough Park, they were likely motivated by anti-Semitism, no matter who was ultimately targeted.
“This happened in the boundaries of our community and everyone knows what Borough Park is all about,” Hikind told VIN News. “This is a very identifiable Jewish community.”
Hikind said that the impact on victims lasts long beyond the time that the paint splatters are removed.
“It is very, very disconcerting,” said Hikind. “The idea that you can be walking the streets and suddenly become the victim of an attack leaves more of a mark than just paint; it has a psychological effect on the individual.”