SAN DIEGO — San Diego police are seeking public help to locate a man suspected of assaulting and threatening a rabbi inside a College Area 7-Eleven store.

According to SDPD, the incident happened on July 24 around 9:50 a.m. inside the 7-Eleven location at 5141 College Avenue.

The victim, a 65-year-old rabbi, was wearing his traditional Jewish faith clothing when a man confronted him and asked if he was Jewish, Officer Mark Herring said in a news release.

According to police, after the victim told the man he was Jewish, the suspect began to scream antisemitic comments and ripped off part of the victim’s religious clothing.

The suspect then left the store on foot. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime, according to authorities.

On Wednesday, police released surveillance images of the suspect and announced a $3,500 reward for information to identify the man.

The suspect, pictured above, is described by police as being in his late 20s to early 30s, 5 feet, 8 inches tall with long, wavy hair possibly styled as dreadlocks.

In addition to the $1,000 reward being offered by San Diego County Crime Stoppers, a $2,500 reward is being offered by non-profit organization StandWithUs for information leading to an arrest in this case, Herring said.

“It is very painful for our community. I can tell you the Jewish community in San Diego is on edge,” said Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Fabienne Perlov. 

Concern yet perseverance is what embodies the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) after yet another attack on the Jewish community.  

Perlov said since January they’ve seen a 50% increase in reported incidents across San Diego County.  

“Why do you think this is happening? Well, we see more polarization of our society, the political division on one hand. On second hand, it’s so easy to spread messages of hate on social media. We see what happens online has real life consequences in our communities,” Perlov said. 

San Diego police said in July, a man threatened and attacked a 65-year-old rabbi at a College Area 7-Eleven.  Police say the suspect asked the Rabbi if he was Jewish, the rabbi answered yes. 

Police said the suspect then started shouting out antisemitic comments at the Rabbi. Before leaving the man ripped off the tzitzit that the Rabbi wore as part of his traditional faith clothing. 

“It’s a sign of religiosity of connection with Hashem, with God. Religious Jews wear their tzitzit, and the kippa, the Yarmulke either when they prey or every day, depending on their level of observance,” Perlov said. 

The ADL said the Rabbi identifies as Orthodox, which is a branch of Judaism.  

The ADL said Orthodox are increasingly becoming the target of attacks because of the visibility of their identity.  

“I want to highlight that not all jews are religious. There is a lot of diversity in our community. Being Jewish is an ethno-group, multi-racial with one religion in common. We have Jews of color, Jews that are secular and can fill their Judaism in different ways,” Perlov said. 

This is the latest attack in a somber list of antisemitic attacks across the county. 

In March, security cameras captured someone vandalizing a Menorah outside the Chabad House near SDSU. It is the center’s third attack in the past three years.  

In May, USCD Campus Police investigated antisemitic symbols found in a residence hall bathroom

“We have to go back to a sudden place of decency in our community, where we learn how to respect each other’s difference and not demonize or dehumanize the other,” Perlov said.  

ADL works with more than 160 schools in the county on their “No Place for Hate” program, where throughout the year schools use activities to explain bias and how to become better allies with friends. 

The goal of the program is to create a more inclusive and safe school environment.  

Anyone with information regarding this case or the identity of the suspect was asked to contact SDPD’s Eastern Division at 858-495-7900 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

FOX 5’s Alani Letang contributed to this story.