Security video captured an attack on a 74-year-old Los Angeles area rabbi who was walking down the sidewalk on Monday. This led to members of the Jewish community tracking down a suspect who matched the description of the assailant the next day.
After video of the incident circulated throughout the neighborhood and on social media, a group of congregants approached and stopped a potential suspect. They apprehended the man until authorities arrived.
The police, however, aren’t convinced that the man they stopped, was the perpetrator. They handcuffed the man and reportedly brought him in on an unrelated charge, but have yet to accuse him of assaulting the rabbi. The man, whose name is not being released since he–so far–isn’t charged in the incident. “I haven’t done anything,” he said to the local NBC affiliate.
An LAPD officer said that the incident is not currently considered a hate crime, telling the TV station they believe it to be “a random act of violence.” Baruch Cohen, a member of the local Jewish community, disagreed with that assessment.
“A rabbi is walking to a synagogue with a yarmulke on his head, holding religious items that clearly identify him as Jewish, and he gets beaten up. I tend to think that he becomes the target of a hate crime,” Cohen said.
The rabbi was treated for his injuries at the scene, but did not go to a hospital.
[Image via screengrab]