Man faces hate-crime charges for trashing Brooklyn synagogue

Perpetrator caught on security cameras knocking down sukkah, breaking in and smashing windows, property.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Police in New York are expected to charge a 25-year-old man with crime after he wreaked havoc at a Brooklyn Jewish center, news reports said Thursday.

Osman Butt is alleged to have destroyed the sukkah that was set up outside the center for the Sukkot holiday. He then used a flagpole to smash his way into the Shore Parkway Jewish Center on 26th Avenue, where he broke windows and damaged more property, including several menorahs, the platform where the Torah is read, and other Jewish symbols and equipment, CBS News reported.

Police were alerted after neighbors heard Butt screaming anti-Semitic slurs. Officers found him inside the Jewish center causing damage.

Security camera footage showed a man tearing down the sukkah, at one point hanging from the frame in order to pull it down.

“He completely obliterated it. He destroyed it from the inside out in what amounted to just unbridled rage,” Rabbi Daniel Sayani told ABC Channel 7 news.

Congregation president Dr. Allan Perel estimated the damage at between $75,000 to $100,000.

“It’s devastating, this is a small shul, we don’t have that kind of money,” Perel said. “Why? Why would you do this? It’s a nice place, we welcome people we have classes, we have non-Jews, we try to learn from each other. Why would you do this?”

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New York State Assemblyman William Colton described the incident as a “very disturbing act of a hate crime” and said that “an attack on one group is an attack on all of us, and we will not allow it.”

“When you have that kind of evil you cannot remain silent,” Colton told reporters outside the center. “We must speak out against hate. We must speak out against the evil of this kind of behavior.”