14-year-old arrested on hate crime prices in alleged assault on San Diego rabbi

A 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of a hate crime Friday, per week after a rabbi was allegedly punched close to his San Diego synagogue, police mentioned.

The boy was booked into Juvenile Corridor on battery and hate crime prices, San Diego police Lt. Shawn Takeuchi mentioned.

Rabbi Yonatan Halevy informed the Union-Tribune that the assault occurred on Oct. 10 as he and his father had been strolling towards the synagogue. A young person rode previous them on his bike, Halevy mentioned, then abruptly circled and introduced a clenched fist down on high of the rabbi’s head.

The drive knocked the 31-year-old off his toes, he mentioned.

The younger assailant spewed slurs, mentioned one thing about White energy, then rode off laughing, Halevy informed the Union-Tribune.

“I used to be shocked, surprised, and harm, however was grateful that my father was unhurt,” he wrote on his synagogue web site.

He mentioned he and his College Metropolis congregation had been focused by a bunch of teenagers, together with the alleged assailant, for just a few weeks earlier than the assault. That they had been heckled and a automobile window was damaged, he mentioned.

As a result of the suspect within the alleged assault is a minor, police didn’t launch his identify.

Earlier this week, the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League in San Diego mentioned individuals mustn’t shrug off the encounter as youth behaving badly.

“We don’t need to be dismissive and say it was simply youngsters,” Tammy Gillies mentioned. “We’ve got to take hate and any hate incident very critically.”

Gillies known as the College Metropolis incident a “message crime.”

“It doesn’t simply impression the goal, however its a message to the entire group that claims, ‘We don’t need you right here,” she mentioned. “That’s the double impression of the hate crime.”

The rabbi mentioned it took 42 minutes for police to reach as he and his father hunkered down contained in the synagogue after it occurred.

They known as 911. That they had an outline of the assailant. That they had photographs, too, as a result of the teenager had lingered exterior, taunting them. However, the rabbi mentioned, the responding officers informed him there was not a lot they might do.

That modified Monday when Halevy known as police brass within the Northern Division, the place the alleged assault occurred. “It went from ‘They’ll’t do something’ to ‘That is No. 1 precedence,’” Halevy informed the Union-Tribune.

On Friday, police acknowledged the fumbled preliminary response.

Capt. Matt Novak runs the Northern Division. Via a division spokesman, Novak mentioned he “spoke to the rabbi personally, and acknowledged that the preliminary response might have been higher.”

The captain additionally mentioned that “going ahead, we shall be having discussions and presumably coaching with officers to assist them higher perceive and higher reply to incidents like these.”

Halevy mentioned he was inspired. “To the credit score of the Police Division, they’ve owned as much as their insufficient response,” he mentioned.

The San Diego County district legal professional’s workplace filed hate crime prices in opposition to 30 individuals in 2018 and 2019.

They embrace John Earnest, who’s accused in an April 2019 capturing at a Poway synagogue that killed one and wounded three. He’s additionally accused of beginning fires exterior an Escondido mosque.

To this point this 12 months, native regulation enforcement has submitted 39 potential hate-crime instances to county prosecutors. Expenses had been introduced in 29 of the instances, though solely 15 included hate crime allegations.

Figueroa writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.