A hate crime charge has been filed against a man accused of defacing a synagogue in West Los Angeles and hurling an anti-Semitic slur at a man holding his infant daughter, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Friday.
Cameron Brunson Blake also faces counts of vandalism of a religious property and making criminal threats. The charges were filed Tuesday and he was expected to be arraigned Friday.
Blake, 34, allegedly carved an anti-Semitic slur into the door of a synagogue on Aug. 10 before targeting a family two days later. He is accused of approaching a man with his baby in Palisades Park and threatening to hurt or kill the man.
He also allegedly spewed an epithet at the father and daughter that L.A. County DA spokesman Greg Risling described as anti-Semitic.
Deputy DA Richard Ceballos, who is prosecuting the case, told the Los Angeles Times Blake screamed several profanities and slurs and shouted “das Juden,” which is German for “Jew.”
The newspaper also reported investigators found links on his social media accounts to Atomwaffen Division, a neo-Nazi organization with connections to violent crime, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Risling said the DA’s office is not releasing the synagogue’s name or location and only described it as being in the West L.A. area.
Last year, a synagogue in Hancock Park was the scene of another alleged hate crime when a man yelled out anti-Semitic slurs and tried to hit Jewish congregants with his vehicle. Just four months later, a gunman opened fire inside a synagogue in San Diego County, killing a woman.
Hate crimes targeting the Jewish faith in the Los Angeles area rose just over 16% between 2017 and 2018, when the number of such offenses reached a 10-year high, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.
Prosecutors are asking that Blake’s bail be set at $1 million. He could face a maximum possible sentence of six years and eight months in prison if convicted of all charges.
The Los Angeles Police Department continues to investigate the case.