The suspect in an attack on Haight Street now faces hate crime charges because prosecutors say he hurled antisemitic insults before striking the victim with a skateboard.
Eduardo Navarro Perez, 31, asked the victim if he was Jewish or Black, and then made antisemitic remarks before physically assaulting him on Dec. 17, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
Navarro Perez was arrested right after the attack and jailed ever since. If convicted of assault and the new hate crime charges, he faces up to seven years in prison.
The attack on Haight became the latest flashpoint in an ongoing debate about hate crimes and public safety in San Francisco, where perceptions about how authorities responded to attacks against Asian Americans stoked divisions and fueled the recall that ousted DA Chesa Boudin.
When the mayor appointed Jenkins as Boudin’s successor, she vowed to crack down on hate crimes. In a prepared statement on Thursday, she said she hopes the hate crime enhancements in the Haight Street attack will send a message.
“There is no place for antisemitism, or any crimes motivated by hate in San Francisco, in our state or anywhere else,” Jenkins said. “We will do everything in our power to hold Navarro Perez accountable and ensure that there are consequences for this attack. This prosecution will send a message to all who seek to sow division that our diversity and unity makes us strong, and we will not sit idly by and allow anyone to be singled out and victimized because of who they are.”
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