LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A second suspect was being booked today for allegedly taking part in an attack on Jewish diners outside a Beverly Grove-area restaurant, an assault carried out by occupants of a caravan of vehicles waving Palestinian flags.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore told the Police Commission the suspect, a 35-year-old Anaheim resident, was arrested Monday night in Whittier and was being booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, “with hate crime enhancements being sought.''
Further booking information on the suspect was not immediately available.
On Friday, police arrested Xavier Pabon, 30, of Banning, for allegedly taking part in the attack, which was one of two assaults on Jewish victims last week that sparked community outrage and calls for an end to hate-motivated violence in the city.
Pabon was released on bail just before 1 a.m. Sunday.
The two men arrested are believed to have participated in the assault and beating of several Jewish diners allegedly targeted by a pro-Palestinian group the night of May 24, 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. Cell phone video showed a group of men get out of a car and start to attack the diners while yelling racial slurs.
One diner, who is not Jewish, told CBS2 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.
Police said one minor injury was reported. Mayor Eric Garcetti characterized the crime as an “organized, anti-semitic attack.''
The attack occurred about 24 hours after an Orthodox Jewish man was seen on surveillance video being chased by a pro-Palestinian caravan attempting to run him over near Rosewood and La Brea avenues. The man managed to escape without injury. Police have said they believe both attacks were related.
Moore said Tuesday night's attack at the restaurant “appeared to spring from a roving band of vehicles that were seen flying flags within the Jewish-populated areas of Hollywood, West L.A., Mid-Wilshire, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.''
He said police are still searching for two more people believed to have taken part in the restaurant attack.
“We have a substantial amount of video evidence as well as additional clues and tips coming in, as well as the fruits of the arrests of these two individuals,'' Moore said.
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.
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