LAPD release images of suspect who attacked elderly rabbi in Fairfax District

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A rabbi was randomly attacked on a street in the Fairfax District and authorities released new images of the suspected attacker who remains on the loose.

The incident was captured on video, showing the suspect walking along the street followed moments later by the elderly victim. Suddenly, the suspect attacks and knocks the victim's yarmulke off. Then the suspect punches and kicks the man as he falls to the ground.

Neighborhood residents said the victim is a respected rabbi.

"I was aflame with anger. I was outraged that this could happen in my community. That this could happen to a well-respected elderly rabbi in my community," Baruch Cohen said.

The assault happened Monday morning in the area of Oakwood and La Brea avenues. The area is a heavily populated orthodox Jewish community.

Friends believe the rabbi was walking either to or from synagogue when he was attacked.

"Soft-spoken, kind, gentle, really a very fine person...From what I hear he's doing well," friend Avrohom Czapnik said.

The attack has raised fears in the community. Community members are on the lookout, trying to help police capture the suspect who is believed to be a transient.

Authorities said they don't know if the rabbi was targeted because of his faith.

"He paced back and forth, lying in ambush, lying in wait to attack this person. As far as I'm concerned, it's a hate crime," Cohen said.

Anyone with more information was urged to call the LAPD or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.
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