A husband and wife driving through Brooklyn hopped out of their car to attack a group of Hasidic Jews, trying to rip off the victims’ masks and blaming them for the spread of coronavirus, police said Monday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio denounced the attack.
“This is obviously absolutely unacceptable in every way,” the mayor said Monday. “It’s something that expresses hate, but also creates danger, and that’s unacceptable and we’re not going to allow it here in this city.”
Paulo Pinho, 35, and wife, Clelia Pinho, 46, jumped out of their vehicle at Bedford Avenue and Ross Street in Williamsburg about 8:35 p.m. Sunday to confront the victims, according to police.
“You Jews are getting us all sick,” the couple yelled at a trio of men, according to police sources. “The mayor says you Jews are the reason we’re getting sick.”
The couple allegedly assaulted three men, with the wife trying to rips their masks off, cops said. She fell during the tussle and broke her arm.
Shomrim, a local Jewish neighborhood watch community patrol, held the two suspects until police arrived.
Both were charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime.
“We are treating this incident as a hate crime,” de Blasio said Monday. “There’s serious consequences when someone commits one of these acts”
The couple live in Jackson Heights, Queens, authorities say.
While the wife has no prior arrests, Paulo Pinho has been arrested four times in the past, police sources say.
Three of the arrests involved DWIs while in the fourth case he allegedly brandished a screwdriver and punched a 61-year-old man in the face in a fight over a parking spot on May 15, 2019. He also is accused of breaking the victim’s side mirror during that confrontation.
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