A Banning man has been arrested as one of the primary suspects in last week’s assault of several Jewish men outside a restaurant in the Beverly Grove area of Los Angeles.
Thirty-year-old Xavier Pabon was taken into custody at 10:15 p.m. Friday at a home outside of Los Angeles and arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. The U.S. Marshals Service assisted in the arrest.
Pabon was booked into an LAPD jail at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday and held on $275,000 bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s online inmate locator. The case was expected to be presented to the Los Angeles County district attorney for filing consideration this week.
Police requested that Pabon’s bail be enhanced due to the crime being motivated by hatred.
He does not have a criminal history in Riverside County, according to court records.
“No Place for Hate in this City. Solid investigative work coupled with community support,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore tweeted Saturday afternoon.
Pabon was believed to be one of the primary suspects in the assault and beating of several Jewish diners allegedly targeted by a pro-Palestinian group Tuesday night, hours after a large protest in support of Palestinian rights amid the violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
The victims were confronted shortly before 10 p.m. outside Sushi Fumi in the 300 block of North La Cienega Boulevard.
Police said one minor injury was reported. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti characterized the crime as an “organized, antisemitic attack.
“Jewish Angelenos, like all residents, should always feel safe in our city … L.A. is a city of belonging, not of hate. There is simply no place for antisemitism, discrimination or prejudice of any kind in Los Angeles. And we will never tolerate bigotry and violence in our communities,” he said in a Twitter post.
Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz said the restaurant incident was one of two attacks directed at Jewish victims over the course of 24 hours.
“Last night, members of a caravan of pro-Palestinian protesters targeted innocent Jewish diners in a vicious attack while they were sitting outside a sushi restaurant, and a separate attempt was made by two drivers to run over a Jewish man who had to flee for his life. Both incidents were captured on video. These were antisemitic hate crimes that are unconscionable,” Koretz said in a statement released late Wednesday morning.
“These violent acts will not go unchecked. We will do everything necessary to bring these criminals to justice and to restore order on our city streets. Late last night after being briefed at the Wilshire Division by LAPD, I visited the restaurant where the attack took place and met with a young man who witnessed the entire tragedy unfold,” he said. “I committed to him that we will work diligently to deploy more resources to the region and bring justice for the victims who were brutally beaten. I intend to keep my promise to that young man and to our entire community.
Cell phone video showed a group of men get out of a car and start to attack the diners while yelling racial slurs.
One of the diners, who is not Jewish, told CBSLA that a caravan waving pro-Palestinian flags approached and then began throwing bottles at him and the group he was dining with. The man said he is a photographer and the group was meeting at the restaurant to plan a wedding.
The attackers were described only as men wearing all black. The restaurant apparently was not damaged, police said.
The local office of the Council on American Islamic Relations issued the following statement Wednesday: “As a civil rights and advocacy organization, we support everyone’s right to free speech, the right to assemble and rally in support of their respective political views.
“However, despite heightened tensions in Palestine and Israel, it is never acceptable for that conflict to spill over into our streets and cities. Violence and intimidation should be condemned, investigated, and if warranted, prosecuted.”
The Anti-Defamation League announced a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the assault on the diners.
Police were also reviewing security video recorded Monday night that appears to show an Orthodox Jewish man being chased by a caravan of people waving Palestinian flags near Rosewood and La Brea avenues, CBSLA reported. The man escaped and was not hurt.
The LAPD’s Wilshire station urged anyone with information regarding the restaurant assault to call them at 213-922-8230 or Crime Stoppers at 800- 222-8477.