Proceedings suspended against LA ramming suspect

Criminal proceedings against man accused of trying to run over two Jewish men outside LA synagogue suspended.

Elad Benari ,

Los Angeles
Los Angeles

Officials said on Friday that criminal proceedings against a Seattle man accused of trying to run over two Jewish men outside a Los Angeles synagogue have been suspended amid questions about his mental competency, The Associated Press reported.

The Los Angeles Times cited records that show the suspect, Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2015. The newspaper said the 32-year-old has been treated at mental health facilities in Washington state twice in recent years.

Prosecutors say a mental competency hearing is scheduled for December 14.

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Friday night, November 23, a car driving in the Hancock Park neighborhood suddenly swerved towards a group of Orthodox Jews outside of the Bais Yehuda synagogue, nearly hitting two men, ages 37 and 57.

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, before driving off.

The driver later crashed his car into another vehicle, and was subsequently arrested.

Mohamed was indicted earlier this week with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and hate crime charges.

LAPD police chief Michael Moore said the attack was a sign that hate crimes are becoming more common in the US.

"He's yelling out hateful remarks regarding Jewish heritage and regarding these people of faith," Moore said. "Hate in America is on the rise. That has to change.”