American Jewish University in Bel Air, California. (Wikimedia/Cbl62 CC BY-SA 3.0)
American Jewish University in Bel Air, California. (Wikimedia/Cbl62 CC BY-SA 3.0)

Suspect in anti-Semitic vandalism of LA-area schools arrested

Los Angeles police arrested a man suspected of spray-painting three schools and several vehicles in vandalism attacks described by police as a hate crime.

Israel Herrera Perez, 44, was arrested on Dec. 19 on suspicion of vandalizing the schools and cars in the neighborhoods of Beverlywood, Calabasas, Pico-Robertson, Brentwood, Bel-Air and Westwood, the Los Angeles Police Department announced Friday.

He was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism and held on $120,000 bail, according to reports.

A swastika and hateful messages including the phrase “time to pay” were found spray-painted at the American Jewish University in Bel Air and Milken Community High School on Dec. 17, as well as the non-Jewish Westwood Charter School.

In Calabasas, the tires of several cars were slashed and messages painted on them in red spray-paint included the number “666,” a reference to the devil.

The acts of vandalism were committed between Dec. 14 and Dec. 16.

On Dec. 14, the sanctuary of the Nessah Synagogue, a Persian Jewish congregation in Beverly Hills, was vandalized, including torn prayer books and Torah scrolls strewn on the floor. A 24-year-old Pennsylvania man was arrested Wednesday in Hawaii, the Los Angeles CBS affiliate reported.

Marcy Oster
Marcy Oster

Israel-based JTA correspondent

JTA

Content distributed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news service.