San Diego Rabbi Attacked By Youths Over Yom Tov

Rabbi Yonatan Halevy

SAN DIEGO (VINnews) — The Shiviti Jewish community in University City, San Diego has recently been victim to a group of harassing teenagers, who are heckling the community as well as smashing windows of their vehicles. Over Yom Tov, harassment turned into assault in broad daylight.

On Saturday afternoon, Rabbi Yonatan Halevy, the rabbi of the Shiviti Jewish community was accompanying his father to a holiday meeting.

While passing the bus stop on the north side of Governor at Scripps, at the entrance to the UC Marketplace, a youth from this group passed them on his bike. When he saw them, he abruptly turning around, lifted his right fist and struck Rabbi halevy on the top of his head with tremendous force – knocking him down. He proceeded to call him a number of racial slurs, and then rode back to his friends laughing.

The rabbi immediately called 911, who took the information and labeled it a high priority call, while he hurried with his father to their unit to stay safe indoors.

This young man kept circling their unit, taunting them for about 25 minutes, during which time the rabbi snapped a few pictures of him and his friends, to helpidentofy them to the police.

An anonymous individual also identified the young man who perpetrated the assault by name.

The police showed up 42 minutes later, about 20 minutes after the boys had left, but unfortunately did not appear to want to pursue the perpetrator.

“I have never felt so disregarded by the police – whom I proudly support and stand beside – in my life,” Rabbi Halevy tells VINnews. “The overall attitude was dismissive. I was told that Clairemont and UC are safe neighborhoods and therefore response times are much longer. They were wary of taking down the young man’s name, didn’t want a copy of his picture, and told me that ultimately there was nothing they could or would do aside from file the report.”

“I asked if they would help me find him to speak with him or his parents or his school. They said no. I asked if they would go look for him in the direction he fled, they said no. I asked if he would return, could I call them? They said I should not call police unless he assaults me again or does something worse.”

The perpatrator has since returned to the neighborhood, heckling the community members on their way home.

The suspect has been described as having dark hair, a dark hooded sweatshirt, short pants, white socks and black sneakers.

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