Police have arrested a 29-year-old Bronx man on hate crimes in connection with a wave of damage left to Jewish prayer homes in the area.
The New York Police Hate Crimes Task Force held a briefing Saturday to announce the arrest of Jordan Burnett, accused of leaving a trail of broken glass and other stone-throwing damage to a number of synagogues in the Riverdale area. The Bronx.
Deputy Inspector Jessica Corey, commander of the task force officer, described in detail how uniformed officers spotted a suspect riding a bicycle against the flow of traffic around 3 a.m. Saturday. Stopping the man was key to linking him to last week’s crimes, she said.
After Burnett refused to cooperate and failed to provide “correct”
Police checked the parking lot, where they found religious prayer books thrown on the ground and an open shed, Corey said. A synagogue official confirmed to police that the motorcycle taken by Burnett had been taken from the shed.
Burnett faces burglary as a hate crime and “numerous allegations related to numerous acts of vandalism as hate crimes committed in this community,” Corey said.
At least four neighborhood synagogues were subjected to anti-Semitic violence last weekend. The attacks were quickly condemned by city and state leaders, who led immediate investigations by task forces investigating hate crimes.
Police have increased patrols in a neighborhood in the Bronx after four synagogues were targeted several times by an attacker throwing stones. Reported by Ida Siegel of NBC in New York.
For several nights, four synagogues in the neighborhood were damaged last weekend by stones thrown at doors and windows. Police said Chabad from Riverdale and the Riverdale Jewish Center were hit around 12:30 p.m. on March 23.
The same synagogues were again directed on March 24, as were the conservative synagogues of Adath Israel and Young Israel of Riverdale. In any case, the windows and doors were broken or significantly damaged by stones. The man was also seen kicking at least one of the windows.
Early Monday morning, the same suspect struck again at the Riverdale Jewish Center – despite the presence of police. Police said officers were stationed in front where the other attacks took place, but this time the suspect went over his back and missed him.
In reports shared by the NYPD, the department said one attacker was responsible for each of the incidents. The man was spotted on video with a camouflage jacket.
A man belonging to the Riverdale Jewish Center said the suspect looked familiar.
“I saw him here a few weeks ago and he was walking around the neighborhood,” said David Hochhauser. “I hope they get this guy very soon. I think he’s mentally ill, I mean … it’s just embarrassing for someone to break windows for no reason.”
Despite the attacks, the brothers still attended evening services on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, NYPD officers were spotted guarding the outside of the homes.
“The synagogue has been the focal point of all Jewish society, so whatever they are … whenever someone wants to attack Jews, the first thing they follow is the synagogue,” Harvey Wolintz said.
Jewish houses of worship were vandalized in the Bronx, prompting a response from city and state leaders to investigate reported anti-Semitic activities. Reported by Ida Siegel of NBC in New York.
“So maybe some people won’t come to the synagogues. They’ll be scared for a while. I can’t stop them from doing that, they’ve already won,” Wolintz added.