A suspect has been arrested in connection with the death of Paul Kessler. This 69-year-old Jewish man, Paul Kessler, died of a head injuryafter participating in a pro-Israel demonstration, at an intersection where a pro-Palestinian rally was also taking place, in the city of Thousand Oaks, northwest of Los Angeles, on November 5.
Loay Abdelfattah Alnaji, 50, was taken into custody Wednesday in Moorpark, California, in connection with the death of Paul Kessler, who was involved in a fight with pro-Palestinian demonstrators on November 5, the sheriff’s office said of Ventura County.
He will be booked into the Ventura County Pretrial Detention Center on charges of involuntary manslaughter, authorities said. The suspect’s bail was set at $1,000,000.
At the time of the incident, a confrontation had taken place between the two groups, which numbered between “75 and 100 people” between them, according to the sheriff. During this altercation, Paul Kessler fell backwards and hit his head on the ground, according to the first elements of the investigation. When police arrived, “he was bleeding from his head and mouth.”
“He was proud to be Jewish”
“What happened before Paul Kessler fell backwards is unclear at this time,” the sheriff insisted. According to him, several witnesses at the scene provided “conflicting statements on the nature of the altercation and the identity of the attacker.” An autopsy has since determined that it was a homicide and that the cause of death was head trauma from a blunt object, according to the sheriff’s office. The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles and a rabbi who spoke to witnesses said Paul Kessler was hit with a megaphone just before he fell.
VIDEO. “He was a very proud Jew”: tribute after the death of a pro-Israel protester in the United States
Moshe Bryski, rabbi of Chabad of Agoura Hills, declared to the New York Post which revealed the information on Wednesday that Kessler’s death was “a tragedy.” “We don’t expect people to go to a gathering and not go home,” he said. Paul Kessler’s wife was “in total shock” when he called, the rabbi added. “He was not a closet Zionist – he wore it like a badge of honor. He was proud to be Jewish and to support Israel,” Justin Cohen, a family friend of the victim, told the American newspaper.