A couple has been arrested for allegedly shouting at three Chassidic men in Brooklyn, N.Y. blaming Jews for spreading the coronavirus, all while attempting to rip off their face coverings, announced the New York Police Department.

Paulo and Clelia Pinho, 35, and 46, respectively, were charged with hate crimes for the incident in the heavily Chassidic neighborhood of Williamsburg on Sunday evening, said police, which also mentioned that Paulo Pinho allegedly called police to report a large crowd gathering.

The two exited their vehicle and “accosted the men, shouting out slurs and attempted to take away their face coverings,” reported ABC News, citing the NYPD.

“You’re the reason why we’re getting sick,” one of the suspects allegedly shouted, according to police. The couple added that “the mayor says you Jews are the reason we’re getting sick.”

The two were detained by the Shomrim, a volunteer watch group, until NYPD officers arrived and arrested them.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio denounced the incident, even though he recently lambasted a sizable gathering at a Jewish funeral for a respected rabbi in Williamsburg.

“We don’t accept bias in New York City,” he said during his morning briefing on Monday. “Any act of hate crime, we pursue it.”

As of Monday morning, the Pinhos have not been arraigned, a spokesperson from the Brooklyn district attorney’s office told ABC News.

Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision

One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.

JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.

Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.