The New York Police Department (NYPD) is increasing its presence in Jewish communities across the city following two hate-related crimes that took place in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood on Saturday night, CNN reported.

The NYPD will deploy “critical response command officers” and have authorities drive with turret lights on to frighten possible attackers, NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison said during a news conference.

In one incident on Saturday night, two Jewish teens, ages 18 and 17, were approached by two men who “demanded that the victims repeat anti-Jewish statements,” the NYPD said in a statement. When the victims refused, the attackers began punching them in the head. One assailant also put the 17-year-old in a “rear chokehold” and another attacker chased the victims while “brandishing a baseball bat.” The alleged attackers fled the scene in a blue Toyota Camry.

Police said in the same hour, three male occupants of a blue Toyota Camry yelled anti-Jewish remarks at four Jewish men in front of a nearby synagogue. They allegedly yelled “Free Palestine, Kill all the Jews,” assembly member Simcha Eichenstein said on Twitter.

The Jewish men entered the synagogue and locked the door, after which two of the three men exited the car, banged on the synagogue’s front door and kicked the side-view mirror of a nearby car before fleeing, according to the NYPD. The three men are wanted for aggravated harassment.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating both incidents. Police believe that the perpetrators in both cases are the same, a department spokesperson told CNN.


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