Video Shows Suspect Shatter Windows at Bronx Synagogue Following Series of Similar Attacks

The New York Police Department (NYPD) Hate Crimes Task Force released video of a suspect vandalizing a synagogue in the Bronx on Saturday night.

Surveillance video captured footage of a male throwing objects at a window and shattering glass at the Young Israel of Riverdale Synagogue on Henry Hudson Parkway at approximately 10:45 p.m.

There were similar attacks on three other synagogues and Jewish centers in the Bronx last week. The NYPD is working to identify the suspect in the video but said the individual is wanted for questioning in regard to "multiple acts of criminal mischief that occurred within the confines of the 50th Precinct within the last week."

The Riverdale Jewish Center and the Riverdale Jewish Synagogue, also known as Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale, Young Israel of Riverdale and the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, were attacked, police told Newsweek. Police said the surveillance footage shows a suspect throw rocks at the synagogues, breaking windows.

We are investigating: April 24th, approx. 10:45 PM, a male threw objects at windows of the Young Israel of Riverdale Synagogue, 4502 Henry Hudson Pkwy, Bronx causing glass to shatter. Info about this or several similar incidents in the area ☎️ or DM @NYPDTips 1-800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/rAziYY8B1U

— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) April 25, 2021

"We are thankful that no one was hurt on either occasion," the Riverdale Jewish Center said in a statement to Newsweek. "The fact that someone would specifically and repeatedly target houses of worship is of great distress to us all. An act of hate such as this is simply unacceptable ... We hope that the perpetrator of these crimes will be apprehended swiftly and justice will be served to the fullest extent of the law."

Riverside Jewish Center was attacked twice—on Thursday and again on Saturday.

A spokesman from the Conservative Synagogue Adaith Israel of Riverdale said they are fortunate no one was in the building when it was attacked.

"Several windows in our synagogue were damaged late Saturday night," he said. "We greatly appreciate the response of the NYPD to protect our community from further acts of senseless hatred and the support we have received from elected officials at all levels of government and faith leaders from throughout the community. They are sources of strength."

"An attack on any synagogue is an attack on all of them and on all houses of worship," he added. "We stand against hate of any kind and will continue to celebrate being Jewish and supporting one another."

Scott Richman, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) regional director of New York and New Jersey, called the incidents a "brazen series of attacks on the Jewish community in Riverdale."

The ADL reported that U.S. anti-Semitic incidents remained at a historic high in 2020. While there was a slight decrease in incidents from the year before, 2020 was still the third-highest since ADL began tracking anti-Semitic incidents in 1979.

According to the report, New York City continued to lead the nation with 336 reported anti-Semitic incidents last year, despite an overall 22 percent drop relative to 2019.

New York continues to lead nation with 336 reported antisemitic incidents in 2020, despite an overall 22% drop relative to 2019. Read more about the 2020 #ADL Audit of Antisemitic Incidents in #NY here: https://t.co/GhvQ3drHI5 pic.twitter.com/P3Jlwd6btN

— ADL New York / New Jersey (@ADL_NYNJ) April 27, 2021

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a statement Sunday condemning the attacks and directing the state police hate crime task force to assist in the investigations.

"I was appalled by a report that an individual threw rocks at glass windows and doors in two Bronx synagogues, smashing and breaking them," he said in the statement. "We have no tolerance for discriminatory acts that seek to divide us rather than bring us together.

"I am directing the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to immediately offer assistance in the investigation being conducted by the NYPD. We stand with Jewish New Yorkers — an essential part of the fabric of our state — as we do with all victims of bigotry, and I look forward to seeing this investigation resolved quickly."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Sunday that the NYPD task force has a "solid lead on the vile acts of anti-Semitism in the Bronx" and vowed to "take swift action against the perpetrators."

Updated 4/28/21 4:59 PM ET, with comment from the Conservative Synagogue Adaith Israel of Riverdale.

Synagogue Attack Bronx
The NYPD is investigating a series of attacks on synagogues in the Bronx that occurred last week. In the photo, a man tries to enter to the closed Young Israel Beth-El of Boro Park Synagogue on October 10, 2020, in Brooklyn. Kena Betancur/VIEWpress via GettyImages