Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spree of paintball attacks against Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn eyed as hate crimes 

Three paintball attacks targeting Hasidic Jews — a man and a trio of teens — in a span of a week in the same Brooklyn neighborhood are believed to be related and may have been fueled by hate, police said Monday.

On Friday night, two boys, ages 16 and 13, were walking with their grandfather, Abraham Franczoz, 65, from their synagogue when an unknown shooter opened fire with the recreational gun on Morton St. near Juliana Place in Williamsburg. The older teen was hit in the arm and the younger boy in the ankle, according to police.

"I don't feel safe at all right now," Franczoz said, adding the family didn't report the crime until after the Sabbath.

"I feel that the neighborhood is not being protected," he said. "If it happened once, I would understand, twice is too much."

On March 22, a 37-year-old man was shot in the face by a paintball as he walked to a synagogue on Kent Ave. at Hewes St. around 7:30 p.m, police said.

Another attack on March 22, this time on a teen who was walking from a synagogue, was linked to the others on Monday, according to police.

That attack was not reported until days later, cops said.

Investigators are treating the paintball attacks as a possible hate-crime pattern.

Police did not have a suspect identified and could not provide a description.

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