A 29-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a string of attacks on synagogues and Jewish centers in the Bronx, the New York Police Department said.
Jordan Burnette is being charged with burglary as a hate crime and also faces numerous charges related to the acts of vandalism as alleged hate crimes that have taken place in the Riverdale community, NYPD Deputy Inspector and Hate Crimes Task Force commanding officer Jessica Corey said in a news conference Saturday evening.
“This particular individual has been linked to the multiple attacks and is going to be charged in the multiple attacks,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said.
“Hopefully life will resume back to normal, and people will be able to worship without fear,” Miller added.
CNN has not been able to determine if Burnette has an attorney.
Surveillance helped police make arrest
Last weekend police reported six attacks on four synagogues in Riverdale over a three-day span.
The synagogues attacked include the Riverdale Jewish Center and the Riverdale Jewish Synagogue, also known as Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale, with each being attacked twice. Young Israel of Riverdale and the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale were each attacked once, NYPD Detective Francis Sammon said last weekend.
Surveillance footage shows a suspect throwing rocks at the synagogues, Sammon said, breaking windows in doors. All of the attacks occurred after dark, in the late night and early morning hours of the day, he said.
Burnette was arrested early Saturday after officers on patrol from the 50th Precinct noticed he was riding a bicycle against the flow of traffic in the vicinity of Delafield Avenue and West 246th Street, Corey said.
After officers attempted to issue a moving violation, Burnette failed to provide identification and became uncooperative, causing the officers to take him into custody and bring him back to the 50th precinct for further investigation, Corey said.
During the course of investigating Burnette at the precinct, NYPD sent officers back to the location where Burnette was taken into custody and found a van with a broken windshield, she said.
Surveillance footage from a nearby home showed Burnette throwing a rock at the van’s windshield, Corey said.
The same footage showed Burnette exiting the parking lot of nearby Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, police said.
Officers investigating the synagogue’s parking lot found religious prayer books strewn on the ground and an open shed containing bicycles, police said.
Officers were able to confirm the bikes were the same kind that Burnette was riding when he was taken into custody, Corey said.
The arrest was the result of “the combination of very advanced detective work: intelligence, analysis, surveillance and patrol,” Miller said.
The NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau had guarded houses of worship and detectives from the Hate Crimes Unit provided surveillance on multiple nights, he said.