The killer of Paul Kessler is still at large. This 69-year-old Jewish man was murdered at a pro-Palestinian rally in Ventura County. Many eyewitnesses have identified Loay alhaji, an instructor at Ventura Community College who slammed Kessler to the ground with a megaphone.
Kessler passed away the following day. Ventura County Sheriff’s Department executed an arrest warrant at Alnaji’s residence on Sunday night. Alnaji, according to law enforcement officials, is cooperating.
Eyewitnesses are certain of the events that transpired that led to Kessler’s death.
“They were both on an even ground, and they were yelling at each other, and then the man brought his megaphone up and hit Paul, and Paul went down,” one unidentified witness told ABC Los Angeles.
Jonathan Oswaks, a close friend of Kessler’s, accompanied him to the protest.
He stalked us. He couldn’t get anywhere with the larger guy, so he pursued the smaller guy.
I could see a punch. It was the white megaphone that flew through the air.
Some witnesses want the man who struck Kessler arrested and charged as a murderer.
The Sheriff’s Deputies, however, are still not sure they have a solid case. On Tuesday they appealed to the public for pictures and videos from the incident.
Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff stated that ‘what exactly transpired at this time is not crystal clear’.
I can tell you that the information we are getting contradicts each other. It is clear that there was an interaction between them, but the level of this interaction is not yet known.
Fryhoff stated, “Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that this was a hate crime. This is being investigated under the heading of homicide.”
UPDATE: we are hearing the Ventura County Sheriff intends to charge Loay Alnaji in Paul Kessler’s death with a hate crime enhancement.
Once an arrest is made, StopAntisemitism strongly encourages DA Nasarenko to prosecute Alnaji to the fullest extent of the law. https://t.co/77VaT40tpW
— StopAntisemitism (@StopAntisemites) November 9, 2023
“I saw the white Megaphone coming across.” Oswaks stated, “I saw the red megaphone mouthpiece and the lanyard trailing. “And I told John, I said: ‘Hey they’re throwing puns over there. Go over there.’ ”
Alnaji’s arrest could have been delayed because the megaphone blow that Kessler received to the head was not the reason for his death. Paul Kessler’s skull was fractured when his head hit the sidewalk.
It’s important to note the difference in the severity of the crime that he will be charged with. Alnaji could be charged with manslaughter or first-degree homicide with the hate crime enhancement.
In this case, the DA’s office and the Sherrif Department are making sure that everything is in order. This case is receiving international attention, so it is important to have an airtight case.