Florida Man Arrested After Allegedly Threatening to Decapitate Rabbi’s Son Outside of Synagogue
A Florida man was arrested on Sunday for stalking a rabbi’s son in front of a local synagogue and threatening to cut his head off, the Miami Herald reported.
Miami Beach police said David Weberman and a friend were walking outside the Ohev Shalom temple on Saturday night when Diego Chaar, 24, looked at Weberman and shouted in Arabic “Allahu Akbar.” After Weberman ignored the comment, the suspect allegedly yelled, “Heads will be cut off.”
Weberman called 911 from his cell phone and police responded, according to the arrest affidavit. Police questioned Chaar and wrote up a report, but then released him.
According to the police report, Chaar then returned to the synagogue shortly before 10 pm, walked past Weberman again and said “Allahu Akbar” before walking away. The victim dialed the police again, and on Sunday, the authorities found Chaar and arrested him.
Police said Chaar admitted to threatening Weberman. Miami Beach Detective Vivian Thayer explained, “He agreed to go to the station and speak.”
When he returned to the scene of the incident late Tuesday afternoon, Chaar denied threatening to cut off anyone’s head, Florida’s 7News reported. He told the news station, “Oh, I did not say that” and only admitted to saying “Allahu Akbar.”
Chaar told 7News he converted to Islam a few years ago while serving time in prison for drug trafficking. He believes he has the “responsibility” to convert others.
“I want to take them to paradise. I don’t want them to burn in hell for the rest of eternity,” he said. “I feel like that they’re worshiping right now is nothing, it’s fake. It don’t exist, in my opinion.”
Weberman’s father, Rabbi Pinchas Weberman, has been head rabbi of Ohev Shalom Congregation for over 54 years, and is a chaplain for Miami Beach Police and Miami-Dade Police. Chaar is facing misdemeanor assault and stalking charges, but the rabbi wants the case to be investigated as a hate crime.
“I never like to over-exaggerate, and I don’t like to minimize, so what I do is, I report this to law enforcement agencies, those that I feel are responsible for it and those that I feel will take a professional approach to it and handle it,” he said.
Police believe Chaar has an “affinity for marijuana and occasionally cocaine,” the Miami Herald reported. Records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement show he was arrested nine times between 2006 and 2013, all for drug related charges, and in every case the charges were dropped. According to an old NBC 6 report, a man also named Diego Chaar claimed three years ago that someone had threatened his life.
Hate crimes against Jewish Miami Beach residents have been piling up since the fall. A homeless man was caught in September drawing a swastika and the letters “KKK” on a temporary sign at Temple Emanu-el. That week someone spray-painted the same symbols on a Publix Supermarket in Surfside.