The NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force is looking into an incident in Brooklyn after a man allegedly yelled "Hail Hitler" at a Brooklynite who was cleaning his car.
The victim, identified by Jewish news site JPUpdates as a 36-year-old Hasidic man named Joseph Singer, was cleaning his car in preparation for Passover Sunday. The suspect spotted Singer at Brooklyn's busy Grand and River streets intersection and threw "an unknown liquid" at him, the New York Post reported.
"Hail Hitler!" the man shouted, according to Singer. "Hitler is coming to kill you Jews. He is going to burn you up."
The man ran off after the incident according to the NYPD, which has assigned to the case both detectives from the 90th Precinct and the department's Hate Crime Task Force Unit.
Police told the Post that they were looking at surveillance footage from cameras in the area. They did not speculate on what kind of liquid the suspect allegedly threw at Singer, and there was no indication it was anything harmful. Police told the Post they believe the man intended to say "Heil Hitler" in the German fashion, but confused the German "heil" -- often associated with Nazi salutes during World War II -- with its English counterpart.
The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the U.S. climbed by 21 percent in 2014, the most recent year in which statistics are available, according to the Anti-Defamation League's website. The group said it had cataloged 912 documented incidents of anti-Semitism in the calendar year, compared to 751 cases in 2013.
The majority of incidents involved harassment and threats, which accounted for 513 of those incidents documented by the ADL in 2014. The group said vandalism accounted for an additional 363 incidents, while assaults amounted to 36 incidents.