Authorities in Los Angeles have arrested a man suspected of attempting to run down Orthodox Jews outside of a synagogue during the Sabbath.
The incident occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. Friday night near a synagogue in the Hancock Park neighborhood near La Brea and Oakwood avenues, in an area with a large Jewish population.
Witnesses say the driver suddenly swerved over towards a group of Orthodox Jews on the sidewalk, narrowly missing them.
After the car missed the pedestrians, the driver pulled around in a U-turn and tried to run down the would-be victims a second time.
When he missed them a second time, the driver struck a traffic sign. He then exited the vehicle, started screaming obscenities and anti-Semitic curses.
The pedestrians targeted in the apparent ramming attempt say the driver appeared to be of Middle Eastern origin, and had a Koran on his dashboard.
Following a complaint to the Los Angeles Police Department, authorities opened an investigation into the incident, and over the weekend identified the suspect as 32-year-old Mohamed Mohamed.
Los Angeles police arrested Mohamed for assault with a deadly weapon, and held him in custody on $55,000 bail.
The two men who were nearly hit in the attack say they believe they were singled out as Jews, and that the incident was likely an anti-Semitic hate crime.
“He was beeping and screaming f***ing Jew, f***ing Jew,” one of the pedestrians told CBS.
“Why he chose us? Probably because of the yarmulkes on our heads.”