SUNSET PARK - Two Muslim teens who took a break from late-night prayers at their mosque in Sunset Park Saturday night wound up hospitalized after an attack that has their community in an uproar.
Police say the 16- and 17-year-olds were speaking with a woman who was seated in a car, but it's unclear what they were talking about. The woman says the boys were bothering her, but the teens say they were asking her if she was OK.
Surveillance video shows a man attack them from behind. He knocks them to the floor, punching and kicking them. One of the victims says the man screamed expletives and called them terrorists, but the tape does not include audio.
Police have deemed the attack an assault, and residents are concerned it will not be considered a possible hate crime. The mosque's director, Mohamed Bahe, says he asked the NYPD's 72nd Precinct to provide added security during Ramadan but was told there weren't enough hands.
The NYPD says it sent cars to the mosque when resources permitted. News 12 found an officer patrolling outside the mosque Tuesday evening.
Police say they've identified the suspect, but are still searching for him.