"Sometimes you get nutcakes that make threats against a synagogue, but for someone to actually assault a rabbi wearing his full outfit when there's no question that he's a man of the cloth?" said Milanda Moore, an inspector in the San Francisco Police Department's hate crimes division. "This is the first time I've seen anything like this, and I've been in this unit since the fall of 1996."
"The main reason we left Russia was for freedom, It is unfortunate this happened here" stated one of the victims.
The incident occurred in the early morning, when the attorney walked a few dozen feet past the synagogue, then turned around, walked back and released a volley of anti-Israel, anti-immigrant, and anti-Semitic insults.
"He was saying 'you f-----g Jews, you f-----g Zionists'" recalled another victim. "At first we tried to ignore him, but then he started to come closer and closer and yell stronger. The Rabbi and I tried to speak with in a very peaceful manner but he continued to scream and came closer and then he started to spit at us."
Despite the efforts to calm the attorney he started shouting that he was going to kill them. In the five to 10 minutes before the police arrived and arrested the attorney, he continued to spout anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli, and anti-immigrant insults while repeatedly punching them in the face and body and, at one point, dragging both of them into the street.
Photographs taken shortly after the alleged attack reveal one of the victims left eye was blackened and sealed shut, and his face swollen and bloodied. He also suffered broken ribs and cuts and scrapes on the lower body as a result of being dragged.
The Rabbi suffered scrapes to the lower body, and a punch to the face smashed his glasses. He complained of constant chest pains and fears he, too, may have broken ribs.
The victim added: "Because I am not really a fighter, I see it as a miracle. I felt, especially in the beginning, that probably both of us are going to be killed. I cannot explain it except help from God."
As mentioned in Part 1 of the story, respondent was previously criminally convicted of battery as a result a brutal attack which took place in the City of Santa Cruz. As to that crime, a "reproval" was recommended by the State Bar Court and approved by the California Supreme Court.
As to the hate crime commited in San Francisco, Respondent and representatives from the State Bar of California--Office of Chief Trial Counsel stipulated as to the facts, the applicable law, and for the appropriate disposition.
The stipulation as to the facts and applicable law was approved and signed by Judge JoAnn Remke, who suspended respondent from the practice of law for a period of 60 days.
Below is the language of the factual stipulation:
"Respondent exchanged invective with the victim and the rabbi. Following the exchange of words, respondent unlawfully struck victim and the Rabbi. Victim sustained various injuries which were treated at the scene. The Rabbi sustained minor injuries and his eye glasses were broken. As a result of the incident, respondent was arrested and criminally charged in San Francisco Superior Court, case number 1982426."