A suspect broke into a Jewish family’s Los Angeles home in the early hours of Wednesday and allegedly threatened to kill those inside, while shouting, “Free Palestine” and “Kill Jewish people.”
According to the LA Times, the suspect was arrested and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
The report said the suspect was named as Daniel Garcia and police said the victims were a family “of Jewish descent.”
Homeowner Mendel Meyers told NBC Los Angeles that his pregnant wife woke up when the suspect entered their bedroom.
“I jumped from the bed and pushed him outside, and I screamed at my wife, ‘Bring me my gun,’” Meyers said, adding that he didn’t actually own a firearm but he thought the threat could help protect his spouse and their four children.
“I screamed, ‘I’m going to shoot you,’ and he got scared and picked up his arms and said, ‘Don’t shoot, don’t shoot,’ but he kept screaming, ‘Free Palestine, free Palestine’ and ‘Jewish people, you need to kill Jewish people,’” Meyers said.
Yet another violent antisemitic incident in the wake of the #HamasMassacre: Los Angeles police arrested a suspect for breaking into a #Jewish family's home and making threats to murder them because of their identity. The assailant began shouting 'Free #Palestine' after being… pic.twitter.com/yxUaIXZkfQ
— StandWithUs (@StandWithUs) October 25, 2023
Footage broadcast by Fox 11 showed the suspect repeatedly shouting, “Free Palestine” after being placed in a police car.
The LAPD told the local Fox news affiliate that the family was visibly shaken up but that no one was physically injured.
Fox 11 reported that officials believed the suspect may have been influenced by drugs, and noted that he was dressed in undergarments.
The LAPD reassured the local Jewish community that it was an isolated incident, Fox 11 said.
“Garcia, possibly suffering from mental illness, acted alone and his actions appeared motivated by the victims’ religious beliefs,” police told the LA Times.
Diaspora Jewish communities have been affected by a surge in antisemitism following the devastating assault by the Palestinian terror group Hamas on southern Israel on October 7, in which some 1,400 people were killed — most of them civilians — and over 220 people kidnapped to Gaza, and amid Israel’s ongoing subsequent military campaign in the Strip aimed at destroying Hamas.