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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Second arrest made in suspected antisemitic attack at L.A. sushi restaurant

A second man was arrested in connection with an attack on diners outside a Beverly Grove sushi restaurant last week that is being investigated as an antisemitic hate crime.

Whittier resident Samer Jayylusi, 35, was taken into custody around 1 a.m. Tuesday in Anaheim, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement.

His arrest comes four days after another suspect, 30-year-old Xavier Pabon of Banning, was arrested at a home outside of Los Angeles.

Both men were booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in the attack May 18 night outside Sushi Fumi on La Cienega Boulevard.

According to video shot by a bystander, some of the attackers were shouting slogans against Israel.

Detectives will recommend hate crime charges, according to the LAPD statement.

Jayylusi was released on $150,000 bail, arrest records show. He has pleaded not guilty to domestic abuse and child endangerment after a separate arrest in December, court records show.

Pabon posted $275,000 bail and was released. He has a criminal record that includes a conviction for domestic battery in 2014, according to court records.

Authorities continue to look for other suspects.

The attack came during a deadly battle between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israel that escalated tensions in the U.S. among supporters of both sides. A fragile cease-fire went into effect Friday.

The video capturing part of the attack shows people in a caravan of cars flying Palestinian flags yelling, “F— you” and “You guys should be ashamed of yourselves” as they drive by the restaurant.

At one point before the attack, which later escalated to kicking and punching, a person can be heard yelling, “Israel kills children!”

A witness told The Times that people from the car caravan began throwing bottles and other items at diners.

“They were chanting, ‘Death to Jews’ and ‘Free Palestine,’” said the witness, who asked to remain anonymous because he feared for his safety. “They had malice.”

In the video, about eight people, most dressed in black, then converge on the diners. The fight grows increasingly violent as it spills farther onto the sidewalk. One man swings a metal stanchion at the attackers, who then push him against a car and punch and kick him, the video shows.

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