Hate crimes eyed in 2 Crown Heights attacks

The off-duty EMS worker was attacked at the corner of Rogers Avenue and Eastern Parkway.

The off-duty EMS worker was attacked at the corner of Rogers Avenue and Eastern Parkway. (11/4/15)

BROOKLYN - Police are investigating two attacks in Crown Heights that may be possible hate crimes.

Police say a young father dressed in traditional Hasidic clothing was stabbed at the corner of Rogers Avenue and Eastern Parkway Tuesday. They say another man was punched in the face Wednesday by a Hispanic man who allegedly said he was "sick of Jews."  Police arrested 36-year-old Christian Rojas in connection with the punching attack. He faces a slew of charges, including assault as a hate crime.

Community leaders and elected officials gathered Wednesday in response to the attacks to let it be known that they will not stand for violence against Jews. They say they will be taking steps to ensure the violence stops. One suggestion was to install surveillance cameras.

Authorities say the suspect in the stabbing attack is described as a masked man dressed in black. They say he came from behind and stabbed the victim, who is a volunteer EMS worker, in his right shoulder. The victim was taken to Methodist Hospital.

Police don't believe the attacks are connected, but both are being investigated as hate crimes.

The attacks come just ahead of a gathering of thousands of religious Jewish leaders from around the world for an annual convention in Crown Heights. Police say there will be added security for the weekend event.

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