BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- A man whose father was assaulted in what Beverly Hills police called a "despicable act of hate" is speaking out, sharing harrowing details of what his dad endured.
Officers responded to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon around 9 a.m. Sunday in the area of N. Rexford Drive and Santa Monica Boulevard, near city hall and the police station, police said.
Alan Nissel said his 75-year-old father, Raphy, was walking to Young Israel of North Beverly Hills, an orthodox synagogue, with his wife when he was attacked. Police say the suspect, identified as 44-year-old Jarris Jay Silagi, attacked him with a belt.
"[He] hit my father over the head with a belt and as he came to and realized he was bleeding, [the suspect] turned to my mother and referred to her as a Jew or a dirty Jew ... 'Give me your earrings and jewelry,' I don't think the memory of the words are exactly clear. What is clear, of course, is that he called her a Jew," said Nissel.
Silagi was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, attempted robbery, hate crime and elder abuse. He is being held on $100,000 bail.
"[Raphy] did sustain a laceration to his right eyebrow ... interestingly, the same location his father received a gun wound in the War of Independence of 1948 as a soldier for the Israeli Army," said Nissel of his father.
Beverly Hills police told Eyewitness News that Silagi had been arrested earlier that same morning for an unspecified misdemeanor crime. He was cited and released for the first arrest, and hours later, he was back in custody for the assault, police said.
Nissel posted a photo on social media of the bloodied shirt his father was wearing when he was assaulted.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass shared the photo on X, formerly known as Twitter, and called the attack a "vile act."
Gov. Gavin Newsom also shared the photo and wrote: "This is appalling. Antisemitism has no place in this state."
"My message is the same as one as my father's: no one is born a racist, they are taught to become racist," said Nissel. "The message is to restore the high standards of education to our great country, and to ensure we educate in a way that facilitates respect and tolerance."
Police say they're actively making an effort to keep the community safe amid the Israel-Hamas war.
"All of our officers are keenly aware of certain areas and do special watches and periodic check of our institutions, religious institutions, and we are also stepping up our patrols on certain areas of the city," said Beverly Hills Police Capt. Max Subin.