An Orthodox Jewish man walking to synagogue was stabbed several times early Wednesday in an area northwest of New York City, officials said.
Ramapo Police initially responded to the community of Monsey in Rockland County on a report that a pedestrian had been struck by a car. But it quickly became clear that the person had been stabbed and slashed with an unknown weapon and was not hit by a vehicle, police said.
The victim was walking to synagogue and, per police, was stabbed more than once by at least one person in the street. The victim was taken to Westchester Medical Center by Hatzolah Ambulance, an emergency medical service that primarily serves Jewish communities, and is undergoing surgery, police said.
There are no descriptions of a suspect or of a vehicle, police said.
The attack took place on Howard Drive, a street close to several synagogues and kosher supermarkets. About 31.4% of Rockland County residents are Jewish, making it the largest Jewish population per capita of any county in the US.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the state police hate crimes task force to assist in the investigation and examine all possible motives.
“This is not an isolated incident, all across the state we’ve seen an alarming rise in anti-Semitic vandalism and hate-fueled attacks,” Cuomo said in a statement. “We cannot allow the cancer of hate to metastasize any further. The escalation of hatred and anti-Semitism must end here and now, and I urge all New Yorkers to denounce hate whenever and wherever they see it.”
CNN’s Arman Azad contributed to this report.