The New York Police Department is investigating an alleged attack in Central Park this week in which a man in his mid-40s assaulted a 63-year-old man and spewed antisemitic comments before yelling out “Kanye 2024,” a reference to rapper Ye’s recent antisemitic rhetoric.
The older man was walking in Central Park about 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday when the other man allegedly hit him from behind, according to police. When the older man fell to the ground, he broke his hand and chipped a tooth, authorities said.
The attacker then uttered “numerous” antisemitic comments toward the man, according to police. Before the attacker fled on a bicycle — with a trailer featuring a sign reading “Hungry Disabled” — police say he referenced the artist formerly known as Kanye West, who has issued several antisemitic tirades, saying “Kanye 2024.”
The 63-year-old man, who has not been publicly identified, was hospitalized in stable condition, police said.
Antisemitic attacks in the United States are at an all-time high. An audit released in April by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) showed that 2,717 antisemitic incidents were reported to the organization in 2021. That total represents the highest number of incidents since the ADL started tracking antisemitic attacks in 1979 — and a 34 percent increase from 2020.
The incidents, the ADL said, include “criminal and noncriminal acts of harassment and intimidation, including distribution of hate propaganda, threats and slurs, as well as vandalism and assault.”