Rabbi beaten with stone in Brooklyn hate crime attack

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The NYPD was investigating a violent hate crime attack against an Orthodox Jewish rabbi in Brooklyn.

The 63-year-old, identified as Rabbi Avraham Gopin, was assaulted in Rochester Park in Crown Heights at about 7:40 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

Police say a man threw a rock at the rabbi.  The victim began to argue with the suspect, who began to punch him in the face.

Gopin fought back and that's when the suspect picked up the large stone and threw it in his face.

New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch says the rabbi suffered a broken nose and had several teeth knocked out.  Gopin remained hospitalized at Maimonides Hospital on Tuesday evening.

Gopin's son-in-law, popular Hasidic singer Benny Friedman, said Gopin was doing OK, despite the injuries that also included stitches on his head and lacerations on his body.

Councilman Deutsch tweeted, "Has it become too dangerous for openly religious Jewish  men to walk the streets of NYC?"

The NYPD Hate Crimes division is investigating the attack.

Yaacov Behrman, the founder of Jewish Future Alliance tweeted images of the victim's bloodied clothing.

Behrman tweeted, "The city and state need to invest more resources in stopping hate crimes and general violence."

The suspect is described as a black male, around 6-feet tall, with long black dreadlocks.  He was last seen in a white t-shirt and black shorts.  The NYPD asks anyone who can identify the suspect to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.  They say all calls are confidential.