Update 9.12.2019: Oniel Gilbourne, of Brooklyn, was charged with assault as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon following the Aug. 27 attack on the man; more here.
Police are investigating after a Jewish man, 63 year old Rabbi Avraham Gopin, was struck with a rock in a Brooklyn park Tuesday morning. It happened in Crown Heights around 8 a.m. in Lincoln Terrace Park, also known as Rochester Park.
Authorities say the 63-year-old victim was working out inside the park when an unknown male threw a rock in his direction.
He approached the man in regard to the rock, and police say the man began to punch him. He defended himself by punching back, before the suspect picked up another rock and threw it. The victim was struck in the face, knocking out his front teeth and causing a laceration to his forehead. The struggle continued before the suspect fled the location on foot.
The victim was taken to Maimonides Hospital. His son tells Eyewitness News that his father's nose was fractured in two places, and he needed staples in his head.
Councilman Chaim Deutsch tweeted out a picture of the rock he said was used in the attack. The victim is expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the attack, and the suspect is described as a black male, approximately 6 feet tall with long black dreadlocks. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and black shorts. There are no arrests at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.
UPDATE 8.28.19: Rabbi Gopin, released from hospital speaking about the incident stating ““It was hate, he said, ‘Jew, Jew.’ He said something in that direction… he was for certain looking to kill. No doubt about [that].” More here.