A Los Angeles motorist began spewing anti-Semitic comments at two men leaving a synagogue and then attempted to plow into them, asserted cops. Now, the suspect could be facing hate crime charges.
When accused motorist Mohamed Mohamed Abdi missed hitting the men — who had run behind barriers to avoid being struck — he made a beeline for them a second time, reported ABC News.
“The victims obviously were caught off-guard by this and they maintained attention on the individual as they crossed the street,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Horace Frank. “At some point they saw the individual run a red light and make a U-turn, allegedly again trying to target the victims.”
The unidentified men, ages 57 and 37, were departing the temple Nov. 23 in the predominantly Jewish Wilshire area of the city.
Abdi, a naturalized citizen born in Mogadishu, Somalia, was busted for assault with a deadly weapon and is currently behind bars.
“Just four weeks after the terrible attacks in Pittsburgh we see this action outside a synagogue here in Los Angeles,” said Police Chief Michael Moore. “Hate in America is on the rise. That has to change.”
At about 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 23, the two victims, who were gathered among other worshipers outside the synagogue, began walking down the street together. That’s when Abdi apparently decided to mount his attack.
Although Moore said investigators think Abdi was acting alone and not as part of a group, his background and associates are being scrutinized.