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Suspect Arrested, Charged with Hate Crime After Antisemitic Assault on Elderly Jewish Couple in Beverly Hills

After getting hit in the head, the victim, who is in his 70s, reportedly chased down attacker with help of Beverly Hills Police.
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December 11, 2023
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A suspect has been arrested in Saturday’s armed assault of a Jewish couple in Beverly Hills.

The Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) allege that Jarris Jay Silagi, 44, made antisemitic remarks while striking an elderly man in the head with a belt. The suspect fled, and police arrived at the scene of the crime at approximately 9:03 am near North Rexford Drive and North Santa Monica Boulevard.

“The suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival,” BHPD wrote in a statement. “After a search by the Beverly Hills Police Department personnel, an individual matching the suspect description was witnessed fleeing by a BHPD Senior Forensic Specialist. Police officers used the information provided to quickly find, detain, and identify the suspect.”

Silagi is being held in police custody on $100,000 bail. He is being charged with assault with a deadly weapon,attempted robbery, elder abuse and a hate crime. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, December 12.

BHPD said that the victim did not have any prior relationship with the alleged assailant.

Although police have not named the couple, Rabbi Pini Dunner, a senior rabbi at Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, identified the victims on X, formerly known on Twitter.

“Raphy Nissel, a member of my shul and the Baal Koreh, was attacked in Beverly Hills on his way to shul yesterday,” Dunner wrote. “After his bleeding headwound [sic] was stitched, he went home, changed his shirt, and came back to shul and did Kriat Hatorah. Him and his wife are true heroes! #NeverAgainIsNow.”

Nissel’s son, Alan Tzvika Nissel also took to X to comment on what allegedly occurred. He posted a photo of his father’s bloody white button down shirt and wrote, “Here is #antisemitism vignette you won’t read about in papers. Yesterday, on way to shul, my father (75) and mother (70) were attacked. After being struck from behind on head by belt and called out as Jew, my father recomposed himself and successfully chased down perp with help of nearby @BeverlyHillsPD.”

BHPD said that the victim was “treated by the Beverly Hills Fire Department at the scene and did not require further medical attention.” Still, the attack occurred just mere hours after a massive anti-Israel demonstration on Friday, less than a mile away in Westwood. Residents woke up to antisemitic graffiti and vandalism throughout the area.

Democratic California Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur, whose 51st District includes the street where the alleged assault occurred, spoke with the Journal about the crime.

“I am deeply disturbed by this despicable act of antisemitic hate right here in my district, and unfortunately what we are witnessing is a climate in which people feel emboldened to enter Jewish communities and attack people, businesses, and institutions simply for being Jewish,” Zbur told the Journal. “We are watching the worst of history repeating itself right now, and every person in a leadership position must stand up and speak out.”

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