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.”
Support the American Jewish Congress!
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.
Join our list
Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest American Jewish Congress news and updates straight to your inbox!