Man charged with hate crimes in string of attacks on Bronx synagogues

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NEW YORK – A man arrested in a string of attacks on synagogues in the Bronx has been charged with multiple hate crime-related offenses, New York police said this weekend.

Jordan Burnette, 29, faces over 40 charges, according to online court records, related to the attacks last week on multiple synagogues in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, which included broken windows, damaged prayer books and a stolen bike.

NYPD Deputy Inspector Jessica Corey said at a news conference Saturday that Burnette was being charged with “burglary as a hate crime and also faces numerous charges related to the many acts of vandalism as hate crimes that have taken place in this community.”

An attorney listed for Burnette did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.

Burnette was being held on $20,000 cash bail or $30,000 bond. New York law limits the charges for which someone can be held on cash bail, but Judge Louis Nock said the shattering of glass constituted as a violent felony and ordered bail, the New York Post reported.

Another hearing is set for Friday.

Corey said Burnette was arrested early Saturday when officers noticed him biking against the flow of traffic. When they tried to issue him a moving violation, Burnette was uncooperative and didn’t provide identification, Corey said. Burnette was taken back to the precinct building, and police determined he matched the description of the suspect wanted in the string of attacks, Corey said.

When officers surveyed the area around where Burnette had been arrested, Corey said they found a van with a broken windshield. Video showed the man smashing the windshield and leaving the parking lot of the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel, Corey said.

Religious prayer books were thrown on the ground, and a caretaker on the property told police that the bike officers saw Burnette riding was one that had been stolen from the property, Corey said.

Corey said police do not believe anyone else was involved but that the investigation was ongoing.

At the other synagogues attacked in the area, the suspect allegedly smashed the windows and front doors.

In response to the attacks, officers had been guarding numerous other synagogues in the area as well as other houses of worship, police said. 

New York Police Department has recorded at least 54 anti-Semitic hate crimes this year through Sunday. In 2020, 58 had been recorded through May 2.