NY man charged with hate crimes after attacks on synagogues

Jordan Burnette was arrested Saturday riding a bicycle that has since been IDed as stolen from an area synagogue.

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A 29-year-old man has been charged with hate crimes after allegedly committing several attacks on New York City synagogues in recent weeks. 

Jordan Burnette was arrested in the early morning hours Saturday after being stopped for riding his bike against traffic. He was taken into custody and identified as the man who had been caught on security cameras committing several property crimes. 

Authorities arrested Jordan Burnette (center) in the early morning hours Saturday after being stopped riding his bicycle against traffic. The bike has since been IDed as stolen from an area synagogue. (CBS New York)

Burnette reportedly vandalized prayer books and stole a bicycle from the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale. The bike Burnette was riding when he was arrested was identified as the one stolen from the synagogue. 

At a news conference, NYPD Deputy Inspector Jessica Corey said Burnette was charged with burglary as a hate crime, as well as other charges “related to the many acts of vandalism as hate crimes that have taken place in this community.” 

Other synagogues in the Bronx have had windows and front doors smashed, and Burnette is the primary suspect. 

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In response, NYPD officers have been guarding other synagogues in the area, as well as other houses of worship. 

“I think that this will bring a great sense of relief to that community,” said John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism, of the arrest. “Hopefully, life will resume back to normal, and people will be able to worship without fear.”

According to an annual survey by the Anti-Defamation League released last week, more than 2,000 instances of harassment, assault and vandalism occurred in 2020 across 47 states and the District of Columbia. 

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“We commend @NYPDHateCrimes @NYPDnews for their steadfast efforts to find the perpetrator & welcome the arrest of this individual who terrorized the #Jewish community,” tweeted the Community Security Service, a volunteer synagogue security group, noting that it helped police identify the suspect.

Scott Richman, the New York/New Jersey regional director of the ADL, said in a statement that “these incidents serve as a sobering reminder that we must continue to work together to stop antisemitism and hate from spreading in our communities. Everyone deserves to feel safe when practicing their religion at houses of worship.”

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