‘Primary Suspect’ in Antisemitic Assault at LA Restaurant by Pro-Palestinian Thugs Faces Additional Hate Crimes Charges
Police in Los Angeles have arrested a man they identified as a “primary suspect” in last week’s violent assault on a group of Jewish diners who were sitting outside a Japanese restaurant in the Beverly Grove neighborhood.
LAPD officers took 30-year-old Xavier Pabon into custody on Friday night. In a statement following his arrest, the LAPD said that Pabon, a resident of Banning, California, had been booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, and that detectives were recommending that additional hate crimes charges be applied.
Pabon was released Sunday after posting $275,000 bond and was next due in court on Sept. 23, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Eyewitnesses to the attack on May 18 said that a group of men had been driving on La Cienega Boulevard in a convoy waving Palestinian flags. They aggressively challenged the diners at a table outside the Sushi Fumi restaurant as to whether they were Jews, leading to an angry verbal exchange. The thugs then climbed out of their vehicles, throwing bottles and yelling antisemitic pejoratives, and proceeded to attack the diners.
“They were chanting, ‘Death to Jews’ and ‘Free Palestine,’” one witness to the attack told the LA Times on Sunday. “They had malice.”
The Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Regional Los Angeles Director, Jeffrey Abrams, released a statement on Sunday praising the LAPD’s recommendation that Pabon be charged with hate crimes.
“We are grateful that the LAPD has requested bail be enhanced due to the crime being motivated by hatred and urge District Attorney George Gascon to similarly file and fully prosecute these as the hate crimes they are,” Abrams said.