Crown Heights

Cops seek public’s help finding Crown Heights stabber

February 11, 2016 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Police released this surveillance photo of a suspect in the stabbing of an Orthodox Jewish man in Crown Heights on Wednesday. A reward has been offered. Photo courtesy of NYPD

Brooklyn BP Adams urges vigilance as assaults pile up

Police on Thursday issued a photo of a suspect wanted in Wednesday’s stabbing of a 25-year-old Orthodox Jewish man in Crown Heights. As the investigation continues, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams issued a call for vigilance in the midst of several recent vicious attacks, including a fatal assault in Brownsville and the killing of a woman and children on Staten Island.

The Crown Heights victim, Yehuda “Laiby” Brickman, was walking on Empire Boulevard near Kingston Avenue at 11:43 a.m. on Wednesday when he was stabbed in the back near his upper right shoulder, a police spokesperson told the Brooklyn Eagle. The attack occurred in the 71st Precinct.

A Hotzolah ambulance transported the victim to Kings County Hospital in stable condition with a collapsed lung.

Police said that when the victim turned around he saw a man running away from him on the street. The suspect is described as black, 20-30 years old, 5-foot – 10-inches, 180 lbs., with a black book bag, last seen wearing a dark colored jacket, blue hooded sweater, dark colored pants and black boots. Surveillance video shows the suspect running down the street. Brickman did not know his assailant.

Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told WINS-AM that police are looking at the incident as a possible hate crime due to the way the victim was dressed.

Brickman’s father is a rabbi at Chabad of Sea Gate. His mother, Rivkah Brickman, who works at the synagogue, posted on Facebook on Wednesday, “I am not sure if you heard, but our son Laiby was stabbed this morning in Crown Heights, and we are now in the hospital with him. He is in a lot of pain from the wound and a collapsed lung, but he will be ok. Please say a prayer for him and do a mitzvah in his honor. That will help him recover.”

Brickman was married on Jan. 27.

On Thursday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams urged residents to be vigilant in the face of a recent slew of attacks, including the fatal stabbing of a 26-year-old man in Brownsville.

“These incidents have been the latest in a series of random slashings and stabbings across New York City, which include the killing of a 26-year-old mother and two of her daughters [Wednesday] in Staten Island,” he said.

Public Advocate Letitia James was set to host a press conference Thursday afternoon to call for “cooperation and unity” following the attack.

Crown Heights is home to the Chabad-Lubavitch’s world headquarters, and Hasidim are a common sight. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. This is the second such knifing in Crown Heights. In November, a Jewish man was slashed in the shoulder by an assailant who also fled.

“Brooklyn’s Jewish community is once again suffering from apparent targeted acts of hate with this latest stabbing in Crown Heights,” Evan Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director, and Andrew Frackman, ADL New York Regional Board Chair said in a statement following the attack. “This alleged hate crime is just one in a series of traumatic attacks over the past several months in which Jews across the city, especially in Brooklyn, have been singled out for violence.”

Bernstein and Frackman said that while they had not seen a rise in the overall numbers of anti-Semitic incidents in New York City, “We are seeing a troubling pattern in which members of the Jewish community in Brooklyn are experiencing the worst kind of anti-Semitism.”

ADL says they have documented at least a dozen alleged anti-Semitic incidents in New York City since September 2015.

In Brooklyn Heights last week, Rabbi Aaron Raskin, spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Avraham, was attacked on Joralemon Street. A 15-year-old was arrested in the incident.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.