A Studio City woman is describing the terror her family endured when she says a man broke into their home early Wednesday morning and threatened to kill them while hurling antisemitic insults.
The break-in happened around 5:20 a.m. in the 3000 block of Laurel Canyon Boulevard, according to Los Angeles Police.
The victim, who is nine months pregnant, told KTLA’s Ellina Abovian that the intruder first kicked in the door to their master bedroom. Her husband fought with him while she called 911.
“[He said] I’m going to kill you because you are Jewish … Israel kills people,” she said in broken English.
The couple’s four children were also home at the time.
After struggling with the intruder for several minutes, her husband eventually forced him out of their home and into their backyard, the victim says.
Officers arrived and found him armed with a kitchen knife, Key News reported. He was taken into custody without further incident and shouted, “Free Palestine” and “Brown Lives Matter” as he was cuffed and placed in a police cruiser, Key News video shows.
No property was taken, and no injuries were reported.
The homeowner believes the intruder, identified by police as Daniel Garcia, may have been intoxicated, and also believes he came onto their property about a year ago and questioned them about their Jewish heritage and ties to Israel. They suspect their mezzuzah, which many Jewish households attach to their doorframe, may have tipped him off.
The incident comes as the war between Israel and Hamas nears its third week.
In a statement, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called the attack a “vile act of hate.”
“In the wake of the terror and violence inflicted over the previous weeks, this is one of the worst fears of Jewish families across our country – hatred spilling across the threshold, destroying the sense of safety and sanctuary in a home.”
Bass reiterated her support for L.A.’s large Jewish community.
“The people of Los Angeles will not cower to hate. We will respond to it … We will always stand together.”
Garcia was booked at the Van Nuys jail and charged with criminal threats, attempted first-degree residential burglary and vandalism of $400 or more in damage or destruction or property. He is being held on $225,000 bail.
If he is convicted, Garcia will face a maximum sentence of seven years and four months in state prison.