Two California men were charged with a hate crime for attacking two Jewish diners outside a Los Angeles sushi restaurant, prosecutors said.
Xavier Pabon, 30, and Samer Jayylusi, 36, were charged Tuesday in the May 18 attack outside Sushi Fumi in the city’s Beverly Grove section, where they were part of a pro-Palestinian group, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
“The defendants are accused of approaching two men outside of a restaurant and attacking them because of their religion,” prosecutors said in a statement.
Pabon, of Banning, and Jayylusi, of Anaheim, were charged with two felony counts of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury, as well as a hate crime allegation.
“A hate crime is a crime against all of us,” District Attorney George Gascón said. “My office is committed to doing all we can to make Los Angeles County a place where our diversity is embraced and protected.”
Video from outside the restaurant provided anonymously to the Los Angeles Times showed several cars passing by while people waved Palestinian flags amid ongoing clashes between Israel and Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
One man used a megaphone to shout that Israelis had “killed women” and “should be ashamed of themselves,” the newspaper reported.
A fight then broke out on a sidewalk and one man swung a metal post at the attackers who pushed him against a car and pummeled him, the clip shows.
“They were chanting ‘Death to Jews’ and ‘Free Palestine,’” one witness told the Times. “They had malice.”
The caught-on-video confrontation that was denounced by Mayor Eric Garcetti as an “organized, anti-Semitic attack” occurred as violence in the Gaza Strip left hundreds dead.
At least 227 Palestinians, including 64 children, died during 10 days of Israeli airstrikes, while 12 Israelis were killed in conflict between Hamas and the country’s defense forces, the Times reported.
Both Pabon and Jayylusi were arrested by LAPD days after the alleged hate crime. Cops at the time requested Pabon’s initial bail of $275,000 be enhanced “due to the crime being motivated by hatred,” police said in a statement.
The case remains under investigation by the LAPD, prosecutors said.
Jayylusi was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, while Pabon is due in court Thursday, KCBS reported. Attempts to reach either man or their attorneys were unsuccessful, according to the Los Angeles Times.