Police arrest man suspected of vandalizing synagogue ahead of event hosted by 'Broad City' star
© Getty Images

Police on Friday arrested a man suspected of vandalizing a Brooklyn synagogue with anti-Semitic messages ahead of an event hosted by Broad City star Ilana Glazer.

James Polite, 26, is being charged with four counts of criminal mischief as a hate crime in connection with graffiti written inside Union Temple, which read “Hitler,” “Jews better be ready," “Die Jew rats, we are here!” and "kill all Jews," according to multiple reports.

ADVERTISEMENT

He is also being charged with multiple arson fires at Jewish gathering places, including one at a yeshiva and another at a Jewish banquet hall, according to local ABC affiliate WABC.

Polite was sent to local Woodhull Hospital for psychiatric observation, according to authorities, WABC reported.

Glazer canceled the Thursday "Get Out The Vote" event after the graffiti was discovered two hours beforehand. 

"It was too freaky," Glazer said, according to WABC. "It was too freaky to hold it."

"What was scary was that it was all over the building, and then the cops were kind of searching the building," she continued.

Glazer was set to interview several state Senate candidates inside the synagogue. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) directed the city's Hate Crimes Task Force to investigate the incident shortly after.

"I am disgusted by the discovery of anti-Semitic graffiti at a house of worship in Brooklyn," Cuomo said in a statement. "At a time when the nation is still reeling from the attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, New Yorkers stand united with the Jewish community and against hate in all its forms."

The vandalism comes less than a week after a mass shooter opened fire at a Pittsburgh-area synagogue on Oct. 27, killing 11. The shooter reportedly yelled "All Jews must die." The shooting has been dubbed the deadliest attack against Jewish people in U.S. history. 

The New York Police Department increased police presence at Union Temple and other synagogues throughout the city in response to the Brooklyn vandalism, CBS New York reported

The Anti-Defamation League, an anti-Semitism watchdog group, saw a 57 percent increase in acts of harassment, vandalism and violence directed at the Jewish community in 2017.