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Police Have Arrested A Suspect In An Alleged Antisemitic Hate Crime Attack In Los Angeles

Police said they are searching for more suspects connected to the incident, which took place at a restaurant Tuesday.

Posted on May 22, 2021, at 6:01 p.m. ET

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks in front of civic and faith leaders in the wake of antisemitic violence in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles police arrested a man late Friday as part of a possible hate crime investigation into an alleged antisemitic attack on a group of diners earlier this week.

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, and the Los Angeles Police Department has asked that his bail be enhanced "due to the crime being motivated by hatred."

Police said they are searching for more suspects connected to the attack, which took place Tuesday, as well as additional charges for hate crimes.

Video of the incident shows a group of cars with pro-Palestinian flags driving down a road when several people exit their vehicles and confront diners at a sushi restaurant. A fight breaks out, and a man swings a stanchion post at another before being attacked by several people.

In an interview with ABC7, the man seen swinging the stanchion post, whom the outlet identified only as M, said he was dining with four Jewish friends to celebrate an upcoming wedding.

M also told NBC Los Angeles that he knew Arabic and was trying to calm the situation, but was punched.

"I was trying to make peace," he said. "They start yelling, cussing about Jews, exile."

An unidentified witness who was at the restaurant also told CBSLA that she saw the men who started the attack shouting antisemitic slurs.

In another video from Tuesday night, an Orthodox Jewish man was seen running away as two cars followed him, the passengers waving pro-Palestinian flags.

The incidents in Los Angeles this week were denounced by local lawmakers and Jewish leaders as well as by pro-Palestinian activists excoriating rising antisemitic incidents in the US.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti called the restaurant incident an "organized, antisemitic attack."

"There is simply no place for anti-Semitism, discrimination, or prejudice of any kind in Los Angeles," he said in a tweet.

The Islamic Center of Southern California also said in a statement that it "unequivocally condemns" the recent attacks.

"There is no room for hate or violence in Los Angeles or anywhere else. While passions about Palestine / Israel may be inflamed, our disagreements should never rise to the level of attacking others," the statement read. "Disagreement is natural, hate and violence should not be."

"Antisemitism, prejudice, bigotry and any type of hate crime will not be tolerated in our ethnic and racially diverse City we call home," Los Angeles City Council member Paul Koretz said in a Facebook post Thursday, after local officials held a press conference responding to recent antisemitic attacks.

Jewish American groups have asked the Biden administration to take action to combat antisemitism as the US has seen an increase in such attacks in recent weeks.

The incidents have taken place amid some of the worst violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East since 2014. Scores of buildings in Gaza have been leveled by Israeli airstrikes, and more than 200 Palestinians, including at least 60 children, have been killed, the Gaza Health Ministry said. According to the Israeli government, at least 10 Israelis have been killed, including 2 children.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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