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JewishJournal.com

April 11, 2002

Skinhead Attack in Beverlywood

http://www.jewishjournal.com/community_briefs/article/skinhead_attack_in_beverlywood_20020412

Four Caucasian men, appearing to be neo-Nazi skinheads, attacked three Jewish high school boys last Shabbat shortly after midnight in Beverlywood.

The three observant students, in their midteens and wearing kippot, were walking through the quiet neighborhood on April 6, when a dark-colored car containing four men pulled up, according to a police report. Two of the men emerged from the car shouting slurs such as "Heil Hitler" and attacked the Jewish teens.

One of the Jewish boys escaped, while the other two, both 17, were beaten, despite their efforts to fend off their assailants, according to one of the victims. The Jewish boys were punched and kicked. One of the boys was held down, and the assailants shouted slurs, calling the boy "a dirty kike." No weapons were involved in the incident. At the parents' request, the names of the Jewish teens have been withheld.

Two of the Jewish teens were set to leave that weekend on the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance's March of the Living program -- an educational travel program that brings teens to Poland and Israel to observe Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut -- and were walking home a third friend when the attack occurred. The only witness was a man walking his dog. However, the passerby did not come to the aid of the teens, noted one of the victims. As the attackers departed, they shouted more slurs against Jews.

One Jewish teen was rushed to Century City Hospital, where a gash above his right eye was sewn up with six stitches.

A news conference regarding the incident was held on April 9. In attendance were LAPD Deputy Chief Dave Kalish; Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center's associate dean, and Los Angeles Councilman Jack Weiss. Detective Supervisor Ron Phillips of the West Los Angeles Division told The Journal that the attack appeared to be an isolated incident and that the investigation into locating the attackers is in progress.

According to police, the two suspects were in their 20s and had shaved heads. One was about 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, with blue eyes. The other was about 6 feet and 150 pounds. Their vehicle was a four-door, economy-style car, possibly a Honda or Toyota Corolla.

"We're running down some names," Phillips said.

"You have to give high grades to LAPD. They were right on top of this," Cooper said. "They did everything right. We should not take any of this for granted."

"The local community is meeting with the LAPD to figure out how to best from this point go forward," said Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, West Coast director of the Orthodox Union, who coordinated a B'nai David-Judea Congregation gathering on April 10. "We just can't sit back after this takes place in our neighborhood."

Chief among discussions will be to coordinate police and Beverlywood-area private security patrols.

Meanwhile, the injured boys are recovering. One victim was able to make the March of the Living Trip, while the boy with the gash dropped out as a result of his injury. However, the teen found some solace in joining some friends from his high school at the April 7 pro-Israel rally in Westwood.

"After what I just experienced, it's nice to be here," he told The Journal.

"The police are aggressively pursuing this case," Cooper said. "I feel pretty confident that there will be a positive outcome here. Justice is going to be done."

Anyone having any information regarding this incident or other suspicious activity is asked to contact either the West Los Angeles police station, (310) 574-8401; or West Los Angeles Detectives, (310) 575-8441.

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