The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating an unprovoked attack in broad daylight outside a Kew Gardens Hills synagogue on May 6.
Police from the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows reported that just after 9 a.m., a 23-year-old man was walking to the Bais Yosef D’Ulem synagogue, located in a converted home at 139-19 72nd Road, just a block east of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, when a man in a white van driving past the house of worship threw a stone that struck him on the leg. The vehicle sped away from the scene traveling westbound on 72nd Road toward 139th Street.
The victim was not injured and refused medical attention at the scene, according to authorities.
While the police spokesperson could not provide a description of the suspect, he told QNS that there was no previous interaction between the suspect and the victim.
The NYPD released a surveillance photo of the vehicle, described as a white Sprinter van with graffiti on its sides. The Sprinter is a cargo-hauling step-van made by Mercedes-Benz.
The synagogue, known locally as Rabbi Friedman’s Shul, has served the community for over 40 years. The congregation was tested last July when the building was devastated by a fire that tore through the institution. No one was injured in the fire and the sacred scrolls were saved and the synagogue has been renovated.
There have been no arrests and an investigation into the case — described as an “aggravated harassment hate crime” — is ongoing.
A reward of up to $3,500 is being offered for information that leads to the assailant’s arrest.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.