A man has been ripping wigs off the heads of Orthodox Jewish women in North Hollywood, and police are calling it a hate crime.
Police are classifying the incidents as hate crimes as the suspect has specifically targeted women of the Jewish faith.
The unnamed suspect was arrested on Wednesday and is suspected of battery in three incidents involving Jewish women in September and November, according to a Los Angeles Police Department release.
The first incident took place during the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur when he snatched the wig off the head of an 80-year-old woman who was walking on Bellaire Avenue near Burbank Boulevard. According to the LAPD, the man “grabbed the wig off her head, smiled and handed it back to her.”
Later the same day, he followed and attempted to snatch the wig from the head of a 36-year-old woman. and on Tuesday, a 58-year-old woman was loading musical equipment into a vehicle when the same man allegedly pulled the wig from her head, before sarcastically apologizing and throwing it to the ground.
“The suspect appears to have battered the women and targeted their wigs because of their religious beliefs,” the LAPD said in a statement. “Orthodox Jewish women often wear wigs, scarfs or hats to cover their hair as a symbol of modesty.”