The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is investigating a reported paintball attack on two young Jewish boys over the weekend as a possible hate crime.
Yanky Munitz said that his two sons, Isaac, 11, and Sroli, 13, were shot at with a paintball gun around 2 p.m. on Saturday by someone in a car traveling through the Hancock Park neighborhood in L.A. The incident occurred approximately an hour before a pro-Palestine rally was scheduled to begin about 1.5 miles away.
Munitz said his boys were targeted on Highland Avenue, a busy residential street, while with their mother. He said they were “wearing proudly their kippah” while walking to their cousin’s home for Shabbat lunch. As they approached the house, his 11-year-old son, Isaac, said he was hit with a paintball.
“Thank God it only hit him in the chest and not the eye,” Munitz told The Daily Wire. “My kids said that they didn’t hear anything shouted at them, but they were talking with each other, then boom, he gets hit. He didn’t even realize what happened. Then it obviously started hurting, so he quickly ran into the house.”
Isaac told his father that the paintball was possibly shot from a black Honda passing by.
According to Munitz, his ex-wife, the boys’ mother, was already in the house and did not witness the shooting. However, she immediately notified LAPD and filed a police report.
Munitz said after discussing what happened with Isaac, they decided to publicize the attack on social media to bring awareness to anti-Semitic acts taking place around the world.
“He said to use the pictures,” Munitz said. “He wants people to be aware of it. He’s a tough little guy.”
On Facebook, Munitz uploaded images he said were captured moments after the incident showing Isaac’s stained shirt, bruised chest, and what appears to be a broken paintball pellet on the street.
“Their only ‘crime’ being proud jewish (sic) boys,” Munitz wrote on Facebook. “They told me that this sick, evil and cowardly act of anti semitism (sic) will not deter them from displaying and being proud jewish (sic) kids!”
Munitz said support from the Jewish community has been “heartwarming.”
“People are saying it could have just as easily happened to their children,” he added. “This is a new low, targeting a little kid like that.”
Saturday’s reported incident follows a recent increase of anti-Semitic attacks throughout the United States since violence escalated last month in the Gaza Strip between Israelis and Palestinians.
Attorney General Merrick Garland recently announced that the Department of Justice would expand resources to fight hate crimes. On Friday, President Joe Biden issued a statement condemning “a series of anti-Semitic attacks targeting and terrorizing American Jews.”
“I don’t shield my children from it; they are aware of what’s going on,” said Munitz. “At the same time, by hiding and by removing your kippah, that just allows them to win. I teach them to be proud of who they are and to be aware of their surroundings.”
Munitz said Isaac “was pretty shaken up” at first but returned to synagogue later Saturday afternoon.
The LAPD detective investigating the case did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Daily Wire.
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