A man was arrested in California for ripping wigs off three unsuspecting Orthodox Jewish women.
The man, who was not immediately identified, was taken into custody Wednesday on suspicion of battery, the Los Angeles Times reported. The first two incidents occurred in September on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year on the Jewish calendar.
An 80-year-old woman was walking on Bellaire Avenue and Burbank Boulevard in North Hollywood when she noticed a man following her, the Los Angeles Police Department said. When she reached Chandler Boulevard, the stranger approached her, snatched the wig off her head, smiled and handed it back to her before walking away without saying a word, cops said. Later that same day, a 36-year-old woman was walking on Chandler Boulevard at Bellaire Avenue when the same man attempted to pull her wig off, according to police.
The seemingly anti-Semitic bully hadn’t pulled any more wigs off until Tuesday when he approached a 58-year-old woman who was loading music equipment into her car at Laurel Canyon and Burbank Boulevard and pulled her wig off her head.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said before throwing the wig on the ground and walking away, according to police.
All three victims are Orthodox Jewish, cops said.
“The suspect appears to have battered the women and targeted their wigs because of their religious beliefs,” police said in a statement.
“This is something for a Jewish woman which is so personal,” Rabbi Nachman Abend told CBS Los Angeles. “This wig or this hair covering is something to them which is so important. To rip that off somebody’s head is crossing all lines and I’m really glad the LAPD considered this a hate crime.”
Orthodox Jewish women typically wear wigs after getting married as a symbol of modesty. The wigs are also considered a blessing.
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