New York man charged with hate crime is accused of targeting Jewish father and son in BB gun attack, police say

A New York man was arrested and charged Tuesday with firing a BB gun at a Jewish man and his son who were out grocery shopping over the weekend, police said.

Jason Kish, 25, of Staten Island, was charged with assault as a hate crime, endangering the welfare of a child, reckless endangerment and assault in connection with the incident Sunday afternoon, New York City police said.

The victims, a 32-year-old man and his 7-year-old son, had been standing in front of a kosher grocery store on Staten Island and were wearing yarmulkes when they were hit with BB gun pellets Sunday afternoon, police said.

In video of the incident shared online by the Staten Island Shomrim Safety Patrol, the man and his son appear to put a shopping cart away outside the Island Kosher supermarket when a black Ford Mustang with at least one window rolled down drives by.

The boy grabs his ear as he appears to be struck by a BB gun pellet as his father appears to turn around to see what happened.

Police released a photo of the black Ford Mustang on Twitter, saying its driver was wanted for two counts of assault as a hate crime.

A man charged with hate crime after, police say, he targeted a Jewish man and his son in a BB gun shooting on Staten Island, N.Y. (Staten Island Shomrim Safety Patrol)
A man charged with hate crime after, police say, he targeted a Jewish man and his son in a BB gun shooting on Staten Island, N.Y. (Staten Island Shomrim Safety Patrol)

It was not immediately clear whether Kish has obtained an attorney. NBC News has reached out to a social media account appearing to belong to Kish.

Police announced Tuesday that a the suspect had been arrested.

Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference Tuesday that , he feared the boy allegedly targeted in the shooting would "never walk that street again without thinking about that incident."

“We are not going to allow hate to run our city,” Adams said, noting that there has been a "substantial increase in hate crimes, particularly antisemitism, across the country," including in New York, which he said has the largest Jewish population outside Israel.

“We need to stop what’s happening on social media. We need to stop the spreading of this hate. We need to combat it in a very real way,” he said.

Reports of antisemitic incidents in the U.S. hit record highs last year, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which has tracked antisemitic incidents since 1979.

Antisemitic rhetoric has become especially prominent in recent weeks after Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, made a series of antisemitic remarks on social media and praised Hitler in an hourslong interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff hosted a roundtable discussion Wednesday to discuss the rise of antisemitism and efforts to counter hate across the country.

The roundtable included White House domestic policy adviser Susan Rice; Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, the special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism; and Keisha Lance Bottoms, the senior adviser to the president for public engagement.

This article was originally published on