Update May 22nd: LAPD officers took 30-year-old Xavier Pabon into custody on Friday night; more here.
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Authorities are investigating whether an attack on Jewish diners that occurred outside a Beverly Grove restaurant late Tuesday night was a hate crime.
The attack occurred a little before 10 p.m. outside Sushi Fumi in the 300 block of North La Cienega Boulevard.
Witnesses said a mob of pro-Palestinians attacked a group of Jewish men who were dining at the restaurant. Cell phone video showed a group of men get out of the car and start to attack them while yelling antisemitic slurs.
One of the diners, who is not Jewish, told CBSLA 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.
“I was speaking to one guy, ‘relax, why are they doing that?’” He said. “Just protest peacefully.”
The man said he was physically attacked when he tried to defend the group. He said the men used anti-Jewish profanity. He said he was pepper sprayed during the attack and had to go to the hospital.
Another woman who was also dining at the restaurant, but did not want to be identified, described the scene to CBSLA Wednesday. She said the men yelled antisemitic slurs, including the words “dirty Jew.”
“Somebody in one of the cars driving by started throwing glass bottles or glass cups at the tables and they shattered everywhere,” she said. A bunch of the cars stopped and maybe 30 of the men in the cars got out, started running towards the tables and asking indiscriminately, ‘Who’s Jewish.’”
No one was seriously hurt. Los Angeles police said they are investigating this as a hate crime, with five victims who were either punched or injured by broken glass.
Investigators are looking for at least three suspects. The suspects were only described as white men wearing all black, as was seen in the cell phone video. They fled south on La Cienega Boulevard in a vehicle described as possibly a black Jeep, police said. The restaurant did not sustain any damage. Officers responded and took a report.