A 29-year-old man has been charged with hate crimes in connection with vandalism in four synagogues in the Bronx district of Riverdale in the last few days.
Jordan Burnett, who lives in the neighborhood, has been charged with burglary as a hate crime and “numerous allegations of acts of vandalism such as hate crimes that have occurred in this community,” Jessica Corey, NYPD Task Officer Commander Crimes Task Strength, said Sunday.
The investigation is ongoing. Corey declined to confirm whether a motive had been established.
SEARCH FOR A NIPD FOR A MAN WHO BULGARIANS A SCHOOLCHILDREN ON A SCHOOL BUS, LEAVING HER IN CRITICAL CONDITION
Windows and doors were broken in repeated attacks on Chabad by Riverdale, the Riverdale Jewish Center, the conservative Adat Israel Synagogue and River Israel̵
Last week, officials stationed in front of the Riverdale Jewish Center failed to prevent another visit by a suspect who was seen on video by security guards throwing stones at the building’s back glass doors on Monday.
On Saturday at about 3 a.m., police on patrol spotted Burnett riding a bicycle against the flow of traffic on Delafield Avenue on West 246th Street and tried to issue him a ticket.
Burnett refused to cooperate and refused to provide proper identification, Corey said, so officers took him into custody and took him to the 50th Precinct Interrogation Station.
Burnett coincides with the description of the suspect wanted in the attacks on Jewish centers, so officers returned to inspect the area and found a van with a broken windshield. Police say a security video from a nearby home shows Burnett throwing a rock at a van after leaving a nearby Adath Israel parking lot.
Officials found a prayer book that had been smashed to the ground in the synagogue and an open shed containing bicycles. A synagogue official told police that a bicycle stolen from the shed matched the one Burnett was riding when he was arrested, Corey said.
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Resources from the Bureau of Counterterrorism have been earmarked to guard area synagogues and other houses of worship, John Miller, deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism in New York, told a news conference Sunday.
Hate crime detectives took the lead in conducting surveillance to help the suspect.
“I think it will bring a lot of relief to this community,” Miller said of the arrest and charges. “We hope that life will return to normal and people will be able to worship without fear.”