SAN DIEGO (VINnews) — A 14-year-old boy was arrested on Friday, 6 days after a San Diego rabbi was assaulted while walking with his father.
According to San Diego police Lt. Shawn Takeuchi, the teenage suspect was booked into booked into Juvenile Hall on battery and hate crime charges.
As previously reported by VINnews, Rabbi Yonatan Halevy was accompanying his father to a holiday meeting on Saturday October 10, when a teen on a bicycle punched him in the head, knocking him off his feet.
According to Halevy, the teen was part of a group that was presenting an ongoing threat to their community, in the form of regular heckling, breaking of windows etc.
The San Diego police initially took 42 minutes to respond to the incident, at which point the suspects were gone. Additionally, the responding officers refused pictures taken by Rabbi Halevy of the suspects, saying there wasn’t much they could do.
However the following Monday, Halevy received a call from police brass in the Northern Division who sang an entirely different tune.
“It went from ‘They can’t do anything’ to ‘This is No. 1 priority,’” Halevy told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The department also acknowledged their less than adequate response on Friday.
The captain whose officers responded to the incident reportedly spoke to Rabbi Halevy personally, and acknowledged that a better response was indeed in order.
The captain also promised to have discussions, and potential training sessions, to better equip his officers to understand and assist in these types of situations.
Halevy appreciated the captain’s words, saying “To the credit of the Police Department, they have owned up to their inadequate response.”
This recent attack is a reflection of a rising amoumnt of hate crimes charges brought by the District Attorney’s Office.
This year in San Diego County alone, 39 hate-crime cases have been submitted by the police department for potential prosecution. 29 of those cases resulted in prosecution, but only 15of those were filed with hate-crime allegations.