The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating whether an attack on diners that occurred outside a Beverly Grove sushi restaurant Tuesday night was an anti-Jewish hate crime. The attack occurred as Israel conducts airstrikes against Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip.
CBS LA obtained cell phone footage of the attack, which happened around 10 pm at Sushi Fumi. The news report noted that the suspects were described as white men in all black who waved “pro-Palestinian” flags and shouted slurs at Jewish diners. A brawl then ensued, with one man seen picking up a stanchion and waving it at a group of masked men. The suspects later fled in a vehicle.
LAPD told CBS LA no arrests were made and no major injuries reported. The Los Angeles Police Department did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment Wednesday morning.
The Beverly Grove neighborhood is located just north of the popular Beverly Center shopping center. It’s adjacent to the Fairfax District, the center of the Jewish community in Los Angeles. Nearby Beverly Hills and La Brea areas are also Jewish enclaves with many residents, businesses and synagogues.
A non-Jewish man present said he was physically attacked and pepper sprayed when he tried to intervene. He also said he went to the hospital as a result.
Tensions are high following continued attacks in Gaza. The ongoing violence in the Middle East has, of course, made American headlines and piqued tensions here, too. An Israeli airstrike on Saturday completely destroyed a 12-story building in Gaza City that housed the Qatar-owned TV news network Al-Jazeera, the Associated Press and other media outlets.
The strike came roughly an hour after the military ordered the building’s evacuation, according to the AP — and reflected a new escalation in violence as Israel mounted its sixth straight day of bombings in the Gaza Strip.
There have been many protests worldwide denouncing the bombings, including a march in Los Angeles earlier Tuesday led by Palestinian youth.
Lawrence Yee contributed to this report.