Wrong-Way Bicyclist Faces Hate-Crime Charges in NYC

NYPD makes an arrest in series of attacks on synagogues
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2021 6:37 AM CDT
Wrong-Way Bicyclist Faces Hate-Crime Charges in NYC
Screen shot of the vandal in an attack last month.   (NYPD/Twitter)

The NYPD says it has caught the man responsible for a series of attacks on local synagogues—and they say he was riding a bike stolen from one of those synagogues when arrested. Officers stopped 29-year-old Jordan Burnette, a resident of the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx, in the wee hours of Saturday morning because he was riding against traffic, reports the Daily News. Based on surveillance video, the NYPD says he was riding away from the nearby Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel, which had just been vandalized, per the New York Post. Burnette doused the synagogue prayer books in hand sanitizer, chucked a rock through the windshield of a parked vehicle, and stole a bicycle from a shed on the property, say police. They also accuse him of being the person who vandalized multiple synagogues last month.

Burnette has been charged with burglary as a hate crime and “numerous charges related to the many acts of vandalism as hate crimes that have taken place in this community,” NYPD Deputy Inspector Jessica Corey said over the weekend, per the Washington Post. In all, he faces 42 charges in nine separate incidents over nearly two weeks. Surveillance video previously captured a man throwing rocks through the windows of Jewish communal buildings in the Riverdale neighborhood. As he was being led out of a police precinct, reporters asked the suspect what he had against synagogues, and the Daily News quotes him as answering, "I believe in Jesus. Jesus is the real messiah. That’s all I know. I didn’t throw any rocks." (More hate crimes stories.)

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