Criminal case against suspect in L.A. synagogue attack delayed after questions about his mental health

Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, 32, of Seattle, has been charged in connection with a suspected hate crime at a Los Angeles synagogue. Prosecutors suspended criminal proceedings against him during a bail hearing Friday after a defense attorney raised questions about his mental health.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Criminal proceedings against a Seattle man accused of trying to run over two Jewish men outside a Los Angeles synagogue have been suspended amid questions about his mental competency, officials said.

During a bail review hearing Friday morning, public defender David Canas questioned whether 32-year-old Mohamed Abdi Mohamed was competent to stand trial for two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

A mental competency hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 14, according to Paul Eakins, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Canas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mohamed was arrested Nov. 23 after police say he shouted anti-Semitic slurs toward a crowd of worshippers exiting Congregation Bais Yeshuda in Hancock Park. Investigators said Mohamed tried to run down two men with his car before speeding away and crashing.

He is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

The FBI has been assisting in the investigation, but authorities have said they have no evidence of links between Mohamed and any known terror or hate groups.


Mohamed’s family has said he holds no hatred toward the Jewish community or any other groups. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2015 and has been treated at mental health facilities in the Seattle area at least twice in recent years, according to medical records reviewed by The Times.

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for crime and police news in California.