2 charged with hate crime in attack on Jewish men in LA

September 21, 2021 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two suspects in an attack on Jewish men outside a Los Angeles restaurant last spring were charged Tuesday with a hate crime, prosecutors said.

The suspects were part of a pro-Palestinian caravan that stopped near Sushi Fumi on the city’s west side where diners were eating at outdoor tables on May 18, police said.

Witnesses told news media that people in the caravan threw bottles and chanted “death to Jews” and “free Palestine,” and men got out of the vehicles and began asking who was Jewish. A brawl erupted when two diners said they were Jewish.

Xavier Pabon, 30, of Banning, and Samer Jayylusi, 36, of Anaheim, were each charged Tuesday with two felony counts of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The charges also include a hate crime allegation.

Jayylusi was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, while Pabon will make his next court appearance Thursday, CBS 2 reported. It wasn’t immediately known if the men have attorneys.

The attack came shortly after Israel’s bombing of Gaza that killed at least 200 Palestinians, the news station said. Pro-Palestinian demonstrators had been rallying throughout west Los Angeles that week.

Civic and faith leaders condemned the incident.