At around 8:30 Tuesday evening, a 34-year-old Orthodox Jewish man – who happens to be a volunteer for Hatzalah – was stabbed in the back by an assailant who snuck up on him from behind. The incident occurred on Eastern Parkway between Nostrand and Rogers Avenues in Crown Heights.
Previous reports that there were two stabbing victims are unfounded. An unrelated emergency medical call to Hatzalah that occurred around the same time appears to have led to the confusion.
The victim was walking westbound along Eastern Parkway – about 150 feet before Rogers Ave. – when the incident occurred. Police say the assailant first walked by him going eastbound, and then after they passed each other he turned around and stabbed him in the back.
The man radioed for help from his fellow Hatzalah volunteers, and then managed to walk himself to the intersection of Eastern Parkway and Rogers Avenue, leaving a trail of blood behind him. He collapsed just as a Hatzalah ambulance arrived at the scene.
The victim was rushed to Kings County Hospital where he was treated for a deep laceration to his upper back. Sources tell CrownHeights.info that doctors stitched up the wound and expect the victim to be released within twenty-four hours.
The assailant escaped from the scene and is still at large. Witness accounts describe the man as wearing a hoodie and a mask covering his face, though this has not been confirmed.
There is no word yet from police on whether or not they believe this incident to be terror related, but are treating it as a possible bias incident and detectives from the Hate Crimes Taskforce are investigating.
There is currently a level-1 mobilization of police forces in effect. Please beware of your surroundings and be extra cautious when going outside until the assailant is apprehended.