Jewish Synagogue
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A 29-year-old man in the Bronx was arrested last Saturday on charges of hate crimes after evidence found by police linked the suspect to a slew of attacks targeting synagogues in Riverdale. Jordan Burnette was accused of causing damages to the Jewish houses of worship after police found rocks and shattered windows of the synagogues in the area where he was apprehended. Burnette also faces burglary as well as numerous charges related to vandalism as hate crimes.

According to the task force commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Jessica Corey, police spotted Burnette riding a bike on a counterflow around 3 am Saturday. When he was stopped by the officers, the suspect became uncooperative and failed to produce proper identification. He was arrested and taken to the 50th Precinct.

Cops backtracked and searched the area where they apprehended Burnette and found a van with a broken windshield. The surveillance video footage from a nearby home, captured Burnette smashing a window of the van and was seen leaving the parking lot of a nearby synagogue.

Upon checking the parking lot, police found religious prayer books thrown all over as well as an open shed. Police reports said the caretaker at the synagogue confirmed that the bike Burnette was riding at the time of his arrest was the same one taken from the shed, New York Post reported.

Authorities said that about four synagogues in the borough have suffered damages to property last weekend. The attacks seemed like they were specifically directed at the the Riverdale Jewish Center and Chabad of Riverdale as an anti-semitic act of violence when they were targeted on March 23 around 12:30am with rocks hurled at doors and windows.

According to NBC New York, the same synagogues were again attacked on the morning of March 24, along with the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel and Young Israel of Riverdale.

Significant damage on windows and doors were assessed as rocks appeared to have caused the windows to be shattered. A man was also seen kicking at least one of the windows of the synagogues.

Based on reports shared by the NYPD, the department said a single assailant was responsible for all of the incidents. The man seen in the video was wearing a camouflage jacket which was identified as a familiar figure by an individual named David Hochhauser, who belongs to the Riverdale Jewish Center.

"I saw him here a couple weeks ago and he was roaming the neighborhood," said Hochhauser. "I'm hopeful that they get this guy very soon. I think he's mentally ill, I mean he's gotta be ... it's just unsettling to have someone smash windows for no reason." he added.

The attacks were condemned by city and state leaders who directed immediate investigations to the hate crimes task force. In light of the attacks, NYPD officers can be seen guarding the outside perimeter of the Jewish worship houses.

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