A 29-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a string of attacks on New York City synagogues, the New York Police Department (NYPD) announced at a press conference on Saturday.
Jordan Burnette is being charged with burglary as a hate crime and faces “numerous charges related to the many acts of vandalism as hate crimes that have taken place in this community,” NYPD deputy inspector and Hate Crimes Task Force commanding officer Jessica Corey said.
The NYPD announced last week that it was investigating potential hate crimes after six synagogues were attacked over the course of three days.
The department said it was looking into four of the six incidents. Detective Francis Sammon told CNN at the time that the suspect in each case appeared to be the same, based on surveillance footage, which captured an individual throwing rocks at synagogues and breaking windows and doors.
Corey told reporters that Burnette was arrested early Saturday morning after officers noticed he was riding a bicycle against the flow of traffic.
The officers tried to issue Burnette a moving violation, but he was uncooperative and refused to provide proper identification, Corey said.
Burnette was then arrested and brought back to the police precinct for further investigation, where officers discovered that he fit the description for the suspect in the “hate crime, criminal mischief pattern,” Corey said.
Further review of video footage and a canvass of the area where Burnette was detained led investigators to the parking lot of a synagogue, filled with religious prayer books scattered on the floor, and an open shed containing bicycles, Corey said.
Officers determined that the bicycles in the shed matched the one that Burnette was riding when he was arrested.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller told reporters that “this particular individual has been linked to the multiple attacks and is going to be charged in the multiple attacks.”
“Hopefully life will resume back to normal, and people will be able to worship without fear,” he continued.
CNN previously reported on Burnette’s arrest.
The string of attacks on New York City synagogues comes amid a surge of antisemitism throughout the U.S.
Last month, the Anti-Defamation League reported that 2020 was the third-worst year for antisemitic incidents since 1979, the first year the organization began tracking such data.
The organization tracked 2,024 incidents of antisemitic assault, harassment and vandalism last year. The majority of the incidents involved harassment, which increased by 10 percent from the previous year.
Acts of vandalism and assault both declined in 2020.
President BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat threatens to vote against party's spending bill if HBCUs don't get more federal aid Overnight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Haitians stuck in Texas extend Biden's immigration woes MORE warned against a “resurgent tide of antisemitism” on Holocaust Remembrance Day in January, saying in a statement that “We must pass the history of the Holocaust on to our grandchildren and their grandchildren in order to keep real the promise of ‘never again.’ That is how we prevent future genocides.”
He continued, stressing the importance of “remembering the victims, heroes, and lessons of the Holocaust” as “Holocaust deniers and minimizers are growing louder in our public discourse.”