Police arrest man suspected of pulling wigs off orthodox Jewish women
North Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on Thursday arrested 33-year-old Steven Szwet on suspicion of hate crimes after he allegedly snatched the wigs off of several Orthodox Jewish women in North Hollywood.
The man was seen pulling their wigs off, which was being investigated as a hate crime.
LAPD says the man had been targeting several Orthodox Jewish women in the North Hollywood area since September.
The man appears to be 25 to 30 years old and follows the women as they are walking. He comes up from behind and then pulls their wig off of them.
The rabbi for the Chabad of North Hollywood says that the entire community is on edge and says that this type of hate must stop.
“This is something for a Jewish woman which is so personal. This wig or this hair covering is something to them which is so important,” said Rabbi Nachman Abend. “To rip that off somebody’s head is crossing all lines and I’m really glad the LAPD considered this a hate crime.”
After an Orthodox Jewish woman gets married she typically covers her hair and she wears a wig, also known as a sheitel. It is a symbol of modesty and it’s also considered to be a blessing.
Police don’t yet have a motive for the attacks.