A Texas man was arrested Sunday in Los Angeles on a felony vandalism charge and may face more serious legal action after he was caught carving a Nazi symbol into the base of a large menorah at a Beverly Hills home on the first night of Hanukkah.
Eric Brian King, 47, of Dallas was spotted Sunday night at around 8 p.m. “defacing a menorah” near Sunset Boulevard and Foothill Road, according to local authorities.
“The initial investigation revealed that King carved Nazi symbols into the base of the menorah. He was charged with felony vandalism and a hate crime,” the Beverly Hills Police Department said, adding that detectives are still investigating the case and additional charges are a possibility.
Surveillance cameras also captured King throwing objects at the menorah before the Nazi symbols were carved into its base, police said. Mark G. Stainbrook, Chief of The Beverly Hills Police Department, called the incident, “A despicable act such as this will never be tolerated in our city.”
King is being held on a $20,000 bond, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department jail records. No information on an attorney who could speak on his behalf was immediately available.
On the heels of disparaging remarks about Jewish people from rapper-producer Ye (fka Kanye West), antisemitism has been on the rise across Los Angeles. In October, hate-filled antisemitic flyers were distributed around Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Westwood. Around that time, a banner was unfurled over the 405 highway by white supremacists flashing Nazi arm signals that read “Kanye was right about the Jews.”
Earlier this month, the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations released its 2021 Hate Crime Report, noting that from the previous year, the number of reported hate crimes in L.A. rose from 641 to 786. That is the highest amount seen since 2002.
Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.