A Jewish man died Monday after falling and putting his head following a confrontation over the weekend throughout competing pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Thousand Oaks, authorities mentioned.
At about 3:20 p.m. Sunday, deputies from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Division responded to reviews of a battery on the intersection of Westlake Boulevard and Thousand Oaks Boulevard, the place each demonstrations had been being held, authorities mentioned.
The sufferer, recognized as Paul Kessler, 69, from Thousand Oaks, was discovered affected by a head harm after he fell backward and struck his head on the bottom following a bodily altercation with a number of counter-protesters, based on authorities and witness accounts.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner has dominated the person’s dying as a murder, with the reason for dying being a blunt-force head harm.
“Witness accounts indicated that Kessler was concerned in a bodily altercation with counter-protestor(s). Throughout the altercation, Kessler fell backwards and struck his head on the bottom,” the division mentioned.
The Jewish Federation of Better Los Angeles mentioned Kessler was Jewish and that he was struck within the head by a megaphone held by a pro-Palestinian demonstrator. The sheriff’s division didn’t instantly affirm these particulars however deliberate a information convention Tuesday morning.
Rabbi Michael Barclay of Temple Ner Simcha in Westlake Village, close to Thousand Oaks, urged individuals to keep away from leaping to conclusions about what occurred.
“I simply obtained off the telephone with the Chief of Police,” he posted on X, previously Twitter. “They’ve conflicting reviews of what occurred, and so they did interview the suspect that’s recognized in social media on the occasion. They don’t have any video.”
He mentioned police are being cautious earlier than making accusations. “We have to do the identical; and never let this develop into a spark that begins an inferno,” he wrote.
“Our ideas are with the household and the Jewish neighborhood throughout this troublesome time,” mentioned CAIR-LA government director Hussam Ayloush, who additionally urged individuals to attend for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Workplace to finish their investigation earlier than drawing any conclusions.
“We’re deeply saddened by this tragic and surprising loss. We be a part of native Jewish leaders in calling on all people to chorus from leaping to conclusions, sensationalizing such a tragedy for political good points, or spreading rumors that would unnecessarily escalate tensions which can be already at an all-time excessive,” Ayloush mentioned in an announcement.
Because the warfare between Israel and Hamas broke out final month protests have been held around the globe. Hamas terrorists have been condemned for invading Israel and killing and kidnaping civilians whereas Israel has been accused of indiscriminate bombing that has killed many civilians in Gaza.
No extra info was instantly accessible. The investigation is ongoing.
The Related Press contributed to this report.