LOS ANGELES – A Seattle man who was accused of trying to run over two men near a synagogue in a Jewish neighborhood in the Wilshire area nearly four years ago has been found to have been insane at the time of the crime.
In a non-jury trial Thursday, Superior Court Judge Drew Edwards found Mohamed Abdi Mohamed guilty of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon — a vehicle — along with a hate crime allegation, but acquitted him of two counts of attempted murder, according to Deputy District Attorney Richard Ceballos.
The judge subsequently found the 36-year-old defendant not guilty by reason of insanity, and ordered him to be transferred to the California Department of Mental Health for placement, the prosecutor said.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said shortly after the attack that the victims had just left a synagogue in the 300 block of La Brea Avenue and were walking toward Oakwood Avenue as Mohamed was “yelling out hateful remarks” about Jewish heritage and people of faith.
“They watch him as he then turns his vehicle directly at him,” the police chief said then.
The two men escaped injury, but both said they feared for their safety and identified Mohamed as the man who had driven a vehicle toward them, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Easley De Larkin testified at an April 2019 hearing at which Mohamed was ordered to stand trial.