A Jewish veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps is being hailed as a hero after he was injured in an anti-Semitic attack Saturday night during a menorah-lighting outside Chabad at the University of Kentucky Jewish Student Center in Lexington, Ky.

As volunteers and staff from the campus Chabad center were preparing for a Hanukkah menorah-lighting outside the center, a car stopped in front of the building close to the sidewalk, said Rabbi Shlomo Litvin, who directs Chabad of the Bluegrass with his wife, Soshi.

“I thought he was possibly drunk,” the rabbi told Chabad.org. “I didn’t understand what it was at first. He rolled down his window and started screaming and cursing. A member of our community, knowing kids were inside the Chabad House, stepped in front of the driver’s window, getting between him and the building.

“The driver grabbed his arm and dragged him for 30 yards down the street; all the while, this man from our community was trying to break free,” said Litvin. “He finally managed to do so and fell to the ground. The driver swerved and ran over his leg.”

Though injured, the Jewish veteran, who is in his 30s, insisted that the menorah-lighting being broadcast online go on as scheduled, even before the authorities were notified, which happened several minutes later. The veteran, who asked not to be identified, was taken to the hospital but has since been released and is recuperating at home.

Police have descriptions of the car, a dark-colored SUV, and the driver. They are actively searching for the suspect.

People in Lexington were deeply troubled by the latest incident targeting Chabad. Earlier this summer, Litvin received threatening phone calls and flyers from white-supremacist groups that have been popping up around the region. And just last month, the sign in front of the Chabad House, along with a menorah that sits outside, was vandalized.

“Racism and religious persecution have no place here,” said Mayor Linda Gorton in a Tweet on Sunday. “Police have started an investigation into the criminal incident at Chabad of the Bluegrass on Saturday. Those who violated the law will be prosecuted. Let’s join in the spirit of Hanukkah a celebration of good over evil.”

Litvin said this latest incident will not stop them from celebrating Hanukkah and sharing the beauty of the “Festival of Lights.”

Noting that one of his daughters asked if they were still having a menorah-lighting outside for people to see, the rabbi said yes, adding that her response was, “Good, the Rebbe [Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory] would want us to have the menorah-lighting.”