LOS ANGELES (Aug. 31)
California is again the scene of high-profile hate crimes.
Police in San Jose arrested three suspects for hurling a Molotov cocktail Monday morning at the home of a judge they mistakenly thought to be Jewish.
Police arrested two 17-year-old boys and a 19-year-old man on suspicion of committing a hate crime, terrorism and arson. The target was the home of Jack Komar, a Santa Clara County superior court judge, whose home was also defaced with swastikas last year.
Komar is Catholic, but Deputy Police Chief Donald Anders said, “It is very clear that the hateful motive involved in the firebombing was because the suspects believed that the residents living in that particular house were Jewish. That was the primary motive.”
Racist literature, paintball pistols and pellet guns were confiscated at the suspects’ homes.
Police Chief William Lansdowne told the Associated Press that while there are no large organized gangs of racists in San Jose, there are a number of young skinheads who commit hate crimes.
In a separate incident Monday, swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti were found on the wall of the Jewish Family Children’s Services building in San Francisco.
Reuters quoted a police spokesman as saying the graffiti read, “Adolf Hitler was here.”
Jonathan Bernstein, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Central Pacific region, told the Associated Press that there are about 50 anti-Semitic incidents in the San Francisco Bay Area each year.
Also on Monday, a judge entered an innocent plea for Buford O’Neal Furrow Jr. at the white supremacist’s arraignment in federal court on Monday.
Furrow has allegedly confessed to killing U.S. postal worker Joseph Ileto and to a shooting spree at the North Valley Jewish Community Center, in which five people, including three children, were wounded.
While federal charges against Furrow relate only to the murder case, the government could also add hate crime allegations encompassing the attack on the Jewish center in Granada Hills.
If convicted, Furrow could face the death penalty on the federal charges, as well as on separate state charges.