WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — A Jewish customer in Dunkin’ Donuts was threatened and told to take off his yarmulke in what police are investigating as a hate crime, according to the NYPD.
The 20-year-old Yeshiva University student was inside the shop at 398 Audubon Ave. at 2:40 p.m. Monday when a man told him his “religion was a lie,” police said.
The suspect then told the student to “take that thing off your head,” referring to the victim’s yarmulke, before saying, “let’s go outside, I’ll beat the s–t out of you,” police said.
Police did not say if the student said anything to the suspect. JPUpdates reported that the victim managed to get a photo of the man and his car’s license plate.
State Sen. Adriano Espaillat and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, along with several leaders from Yeshiva University, held a press conference in front of the Dunkin’ Donuts Thursday afternoon in an attempt to “unite against hate of any kind” in the community.
Community Board 12 chairman Shah Ally said the board was going to work with the university and local elected officials to provide cultural education and workshops, so that “we can continue defining the rich and wonderful cultural diversity of this neighborhood.”
Associate dean for Torah Studies at Yeshiva, Rabbi Yosef Kalinsky described the university as a “wonderful and caring and safe campus,” adding “no one — no community — should ever tolerate hate and prejudice.”
The university’s director of security, Paul Murtha, said that although the campus is safe and hate crimes rarely happen, the school has nonetheless increased security and patrols.