Two men leaving a Florida synagogue after Sukkot prayers on Monday were attacked on Monday by a homeless man later identified as 66-year-old Larry Greene.
The incident took place outside the synagogue on Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach, FL.
According to a report by NBC 6 News Miami, Greene raised a knife over his head and lunged at one of the men – both easily identified as Jews because they were wearing yarmulkas — while threatening to kill him. He yelled at the men to “Go back to Israel.”
Police said Green identified himself as a “Black Israelite” and made anti-Semitic remarks while in custody. He said his “Hebrew name” is Elijah Israel. He called the victims “fake Jews.”
One of the victims said in a deposition that “he personally felt he would have tried to kill me or any or any other Jewish person because of their Jewish faith.”
Greene was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and held pending $50,000 bail. The attack is being dealt with as a hate crime.
Police in Florida are remaining on alert for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, NBC reported. “We basically have a one-on-one relationship with the heads of these houses of worship,” said a Miami police spokesperson.