Three men fired a gel gun at a Hasidic woman and her son on a Bedford-Stuyvesant street late Tuesday, in an alleged hate crime that is just the latest “Orbeez”-style pellet attack in the city, police sources said.
The trio was driving near Kent and Park avenues around 8:30 p.m. when they allegedly fired off the plastic water-filled pellets at the 47-year-old and her son, 23, as they walked along the street, the sources said.
The victims called 911 from the scene and cops caught up with the white sedan nearby.
Sources identified the driver as Jacob Hernandez, 38, and charged him with assault as a hate crime, assault, aggravated harassment, criminal possession of a weapon and hit him with a motor vehicle violation, the sources said.
The two passengers in the car – Zaharia Moataz and Dorian Watt – were hit with the same charges save for the motor vehicle citations.
Hernandez was held on bail Thursday as the other two suspects were let go on supervised release.
Jacob Hernandez, 38, begged for mercy as he was led away in handcuffs on $7,500 cash bail while the other two suspects, Zakaria Moataz and Dorian Watt, walked out of the courtroom with their faces covered.
“I have nothing against anybody. I don’t have hate for anyone,” Hernandez pleaded to Judge Dale Fong-Frederick before he was whisked away by court officers.
The trio are accused of shooting gel pellets with a “SplatRBall gel bead blaster” – similar to an Orbeez gun – at the mom, 47, and her son, 23, as they walked near Kent and Park avenues in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Sunday night, prosecutors allege
Hernandez, Moataz and Watt were allegedly cruising through the area smoking weed in a white Infinity when they came across the mom and son and blasted the pellet gun, causing them pain, prosecutors said.
At the time, the son was wearing traditional Hasidic garb, including a “black hat, a long black coat and long side curls,” prosecutors allege.