An image of a masked man with a machete scared many people at a local synagogue but Saturday night an arrest was made.
A frightening picture taken outside the Chabad of North Hollywood appears to show a man with his face covered in a scarf, holding a machete in a threatening manner toward the Chabad.
“Obviously the image is very disturbing,” said Rabbi Nachman Abend. “A man with a sword standing in front of a synagogue with his face wrapped the way it was is very concerning.”
The incident happened Friday afternoon. Rabbi Abend says a member of the community took the picture and sent it to them. They called police immediately, fearing for the safety of their congregation.
“We do not believe there’s any relation to anybody here. We really do not know who he is. It sounds like he wants to protest something but we’re not sure what he’s trying to protest,” said Rabbi Abend.
This is the second disturbing incident at this Chabad in the past couple of months. In November a man was arrested after pulling wigs off the heads of Orthodox women as they walked to services.
Rabbi Abend says that man was arrested for the hate crime and appeared to be mentally disturbed.
“Whenever these things happen it’s a wake up call for everybody and it puts everybody on edge to a certain extent. But we don’t live in fear and we have to continue moving on,” said Rabbi Abend.
Rabbi Abend says he’s not sure the motive, but says they’re doing everything they can to keep the people here safe.