Two Men Face Hate Crime Charges in Alleged Antisemitic Attack

Prosecutors believe the May incident outside a Beverly Grove sushi restaurant constitutes bias-motivated violence
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UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 21 — Two men who were arrested in May for their involvement in an altercation outside a Beverly Grove sushi restaurant have each been charged with assault with a hate crime enhancement.

Xavier Pabon, 30, and Samer Jayylusi, 36, are accused of being part of a group of eight men who attacked several Jewish men who were dining outdoors at Sushi Fumi on La Cienega Boulevard on May 18. The alleged attackers emerged from a vehicle bearing a Palestinian flag, and reportedly asked who was Jewish before kicking, punching, and throwing bottles at the diners; at least one victim claims he was sprayed with a chemical irritant and had to go to the hospital. The incident was caught on cellphone camera and a witness told the Los Angeles Times the attackers were chanting “Death to Jews” and “Free Palestine.”

“A hate crime is a crime against all of us,” L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement provided to the Times. “My office is committed to doing all we can to make Los Angeles County a place where our diversity is embraced and protected.”


MAY 26, 2021 — LAPD Chief Michel Moore announced on Tuesday that 35-year-old Samer Jayylusi of Whittier was arrested in Orange County for his alleged role in the potentially hate-fueled attack on a group of Jewish men having dinner outside Sushi Fumi in Beverly Grove last week.

Police believe Jayylusi was part of a group that confronted the diners and reportedly asked who was Jewish before kicking, punching, and throwing bottles at several of them, and allegedly spraying at least one victim with a chemical irritant and sending him to the hospital. Jayylusi is considered a “primary suspect” in the assault, which took place after a pro-Palestine protest nearby.

Over the weekend, another suspect, Xavier Pabon of Banning, was arrested and released on bail.


MAY 24, 2021 — As Hamas and Israel entered the fourth day of ceasefire Monday morning, President Joe Biden took to social media to denounce the spike in anti-Semitism that has spread across the U.S. since the 11-day conflict in Gaza began.

“The recent attacks on the Jewish community are despicable, and they must stop,” Biden tweeted. “I condemn this hateful behavior at home and abroad—it’s up to all of us to give hate no safe harbor.”

On Friday, meanwhile, officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, assisted by the U.S. Marshall Service task force, arrested a man in connection with last week’s incident in which a group of Iranian Jewish men dining outdoors at Sushi Fumi on La Cienga Boulevard were attacked by another group of men who emerged from a vehicle bearing a Palestinian flag.

The group that confronted the diners reportedly asked who was Jewish before kicking, punching, and throwing bottles at several of them, and allegedly spraying at least one victim with a chemical irritant and sending him to the hospital.

The suspect, identified as Banning resident Xavier Pabon, 30, was booked for assault with a deadly weapon and released on $275,000 bail early Sunday. Police said in a statement that they requested enhanced bail because the attack was “a crime motivated by hate.”

The LAPD says Pabon was identified through several tips and arrested without incident at his home. They are looking for at least three more suspects.

The Anti-Defamation League had offered a $5,000 reward for information in the case. In a statement Saturday, ADL Los Angeles regional director Jeffrey Abrams said, “We welcome the arrest of one of the primary suspects in the beating of several Jewish diners outside of a local restaurant this week. The diligent efforts by LAPD and other law enforcement agencies sends a clear message that hate crimes targeting the safety of any group of individuals will not be tolerated.”

Following last week’s attack, the ADL released preliminary data showing that bias-motivated acts against Jewish people are on the rise.

“An analysis of Twitter in the days following the recent outbreak of violence showed more than 17,000 tweets which used variations of the phrase, ‘Hitler was right’ between May 7 and May 14, 2021,” the group said.

Additionally, the ADL stated that it had received 193 reports of possible anti-Semitic acts across the U.S. in the week after hostilities in Gaza began, up from 131 reports the previous week.


RELATED: LAPD Is Investigating a Confrontation at a Sushi Spot as an Anti-Semitic Hate Crime


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