A Jewish family was leaving a synagogue when a group of men drove by and insulted the family until an armed bystander got between them, a local CBS affiliate reported Thursday.
Eric Orgen said he was walking with his wife and daughter when the men yelled and threw garbage at the family, according to CBS12 News.
“They just started screaming some derogatory things towards Jewish people out the window,” Orgen told CBS12 News. The men said, “free Palestine, die Jew, F you Jew, I’m gonna rape your wife,” according to Orgen.
“My first thought was just making sure my wife and daughter were behind me so I could take the brunt of anything that was going to happen,” Orgen said, CBS12 News reported.
— Mayor Gabriel Groisman (@GabeGroisman) May 19, 2021
An armed stranger intervened and got in between the family and the men until they left, Orgen said, CBS12 News reported. Local police opened an investigation into the incident.
“The guy in the car behind them saw everything go on,” Orgen told CBS12 News. “I saw him pull a gun and get in between — I mean he was almost there as our guardian angel just protecting us. I think once they saw him they just took off.”
Anti-Semitic incidents increased 40% from 2019 to 2020 in Florida, the Anti-Defamation League reported. People inside a van with anti-Semitic graffiti including messages like “Hitler was right” yelled racial slurs at pro-Israel demonstrators in Boca Raton, Florida, before they drove through the crowd last week, CBS12 News reported.
“The purpose of these attacks is clear,” Mayor Gabriel Groisman told CBS12 News. “It’s to put fear into the Jewish community’s hearts, and to the perpetrators of this attack, they must know that they will fail. We’re a strong community and a proud community and we stand strong with Israel and no amount of attacks or intimidation is going to work.