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Sushi Fumi Victim Files Lawsuit

One of the victims of the Sushi Fumi attack in May 2021 filed a lawsuit on March 15, alleging that they were the victim of a hate crime.
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March 15, 2022
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One of the victims of the Sushi Fumi attack in May 2021 filed a lawsuit on March 15, alleging that they were the victim of a hate crime.

The lawsuit, filed by Glaser Weil LLP, The Law Office of Arash Khorsandi, and Avenue Law APC, per a press release, stated that the victim was eating dinner in front of the Beverly Grove restaurant when a caravan with “megaphones and loudspeakers” that were “waving Palestinian flags” drove by and started shouting, “F— the Jews,” “Death to Jews,” “Dirty Jews,” and “Who is Jewish?” The people in the caravan hurled “glass objects” at the plaintiff and the Jewish diners and then exited their vehicles and started attacking them.

“The first target of the attack was one of [Plaintiff’s] friends who was rushed at by the [Defendants] and thrown to the floor,” the lawsuit stated. “[Defendants] kicked [Plaintiff’s] friend in the head and on his body. [Plaintiff] saw his defenseless friend being attacked and sprang into action to defend him from being viciously beaten. [Plaintiff] grabbed a nearby stanchion that had roped off Sushi Fumi’s outdoors dining area and used it fend off the attackers in self-defense and defense of his friends.” The lawsuit then alleges that four men began beating the plaintiff against a car and sprayed him with “an aerosol chemical irritant.”

“American Jews have suffered numerous high profile incidents of violent antisemitism in recent years,” Michael Yadegaran of Avenue Law APC said in a statement. “From Charlottesville to Pittsburgh to Poway to Colleyville—and now Los Angeles. The time to take action is now; a hate crime is a crime against all of us.”

“Antisemitic hate crimes are on the rise, and whether on college campuses, in houses of worship, at Jewish day schools, or out while dining, Jews are being targeted and terrorized at an increasing rate,” Julie Gerchik, Litigation Partner at Glaser Weil, also said in a statement. “Enough is enough.”

Two men have been arrested and charged with a hate crime in connection to the attack; they have been identified as Xavier Paybon, 30, and Samer Jayylusi, 36. Both Paybon and Jayylusi were listed as defendants in the lawsuit itself, a copy of which was obtained by the Journal.

One of the Jewish victims of the attack, who spoke to the Journal’s Tabby Refael under the pseudonym “Michael” a few days after the attack occurred, said: “There have been lots of conversations around our Shabbat tables this year about moving out of LA and about Jews feeling less safe in New York and elsewhere. It’s sad. It’s really sad. I’m an Iranian Jew. We were uprooted from our home of 2,700 years and moved to America. And within just one generation, the threat of Islamic persecution that our parents fled is now on our doorstep here in America. Wrap your head around that.”

Anti-Defamation League Los Angeles Regional Director Jeffrey I. Abrams said in a statement, “Perpetrators of hate must be held fully accountable, under both criminal and civil law. With the filing of a civil lawsuit, the assailants charged in the antisemitic Sushi Fumi attack last summer cannot avoid civil responsibility. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office must ensure these defendants also receive the appropriate criminal sentence for these heinous crimes.”

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