Suspect arrested in connection with anti-Semitic vandalism of Indiana synagogue

Suspect arrested in connection with anti-Semitic vandalism of Indiana synagogue
© Facebook: Debby Barton Grant

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the anti-Semitic vandalism of a synagogue in Carmel, Indiana.

Nolan Brewer, a 20-year-old resident of Cloverdale, Indiana, faces a federal civil rights charge related to the July vandalism of Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, CBS4 News reports. A 17-year-old girl has also been arrested in connection with the vandalism, but she is not being named because she is a minor.

Brewer reportedly told federal agents that he vandalized the synagogue because it was “full of ethnic Jews," adding that he wanted to send a message that Jewish people should “back down or something like that.”

Investigators said Brewer was wearing a German military camouflage jacket with a German flag on the shoulder when he was arrested. He also spoke about Adolf Hitler, the local outlet reported.

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“His intention was not to be a prank,” U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler told CBS4. “His intention clearly was serious and that was to impact the people and their right to worship in the place they choose and in the way they choose and he was going to commit a specific crime to send that message.”

Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow who presides over the synagogue said the community’s support for his congregation after the vandalism neutralized Brewer’s actions.

“It made this act a complete failure because they tried to evoke hatred and fear and what they produced was an outpouring of love and support and solidarity,” Sendrow said.

The synagogue was vandalized late last month with a large Nazi flag and several Nazi Iron Crosses, prompting Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) to call for hate-crime legislation.

Indiana is one of five states in the U.S. without a hate crime statute, Debby Barton Grant, CEO and executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis, said following last month's vandalism.