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Man attacked by group in Brooklyn amid protest over new COVID religious restrictions: police complaint

Posted at 12:35 PM, Oct 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-07 12:55:37-04

BOROUGH PARK, Brooklyn — A man said he was assaulted by a group in Brooklyn amid an overnight protest by members of the Orthodox Jewish community denouncing the governor's new restrictions for the city's coronavirus "cluster" areas, according to a complaint filed with police.

The 34-year-old victim reported to police that around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, a group of three or four men began kicking him and punching him in the neck, face and back, the NYPD said.

He suffered pain and bruising and was taken by EMS to a nearby hospital for treatment, the victim said in his complaint.

The NYPD said no arrests were made in connection to the incident or the overnight protest in Borough Park as a whole.

The reported assault was being investigated, authorities said.

The victim is reportedly a photographer but he is not connected to a news outlet, police told PIX11. His identity was not released by officials.

When asked about the incident at his Wednesday briefing, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was aware of it and spoke with NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea about the alleged attack.

"Assault is not going to be accepted," the mayor said. "Respect the laws, respect the specific instructions of the NYPD, and if anyone doesn't, there will be consequences," he assured.

A large crowd of people from the Orthodox Jewish community filled streets of the Borough Park neighborhood late Tuesday night into early Wednesday, making it clear they'll continue to pray despite the state's mandate to restrict houses of worship in virus "hot spots."

At one point, demonstrators set a fire in the middle of a street, video from the scene showed.

The group has said they are planning another demonstration in the area for Wednesday night around 9 p.m.

"Please remember: We protest peaceful. We support the police. We use our mouth, not our hands," community activist and organizer Heshy Tischler tweeted Wednesday.