San Diego Police Department

Boy, 14, Arrested in Hate-Crime Attack on Rabbi

Rabbi Halevy

A 14-year-old boy who allegedly attacked a rabbi without provocation on a University City roadside was arrested Friday on suspicion of battery and committing a hate crime.

The youth, whose name was withheld because he is a minor, allegedly shouted racial slurs at a rabbi and punched him late Saturday afternoon as he was walking in the 3200 block of Governor Drive, near his synagogue, according to San Diego police.

Rabbi Halevy said he had dressed for the Jewish celebration of Sukkot and was walking his father to service.

About a block from the synagogue, they caught the attention of a handful of teens on bikes and skateboards. 

The Halevys attempted to avoid a confrontation, but in an instant, one of the teens rode by and punched the rabbi on his head so hard he fell to the ground, according to the rabbi.

"He called me a racial slur for black people, the N-Word, then screamed something about white power. We're still trying to figure out what he said,” Halevy said.

"It hurt but the most important thing was to get somewhere safe. Thank God, I was wearing my turban. It sort of cushioned the physical impact," Halevy said.

The kids, between 12 and 17 years old, followed the rabbi and his father to the synagogue and circled the building for 25 minutes, according to Halevy, who then called police.

The teen was booked into juvenile hall.

"The San Diego Police Department will fully investigate all crimes, especially those involving hate. We appreciate the community’s assistance in helping seek justice for the victim," Lt. Shawn Takeuchi said in a release.

Contact Us