New York’s police department was questioning a suspect in a series of mezuza burnings that occurred in Brooklyn on Monday, US media reported.
Orthodox residents in several Williamsburg buildings had discovered Monday that 12 mezuzot hanging on their doors were torched.
“It’s devastating. It’s very sad and such things shouldn’t happen,” resident Raizy Fogel told New York’s local CBS 2 News. Local news channel Long Island News 12 reported that police have placed 35-year-old Rubin Ublies in custody and are questioning him on the arson.
New York sources reported that Ublies was nabbed by the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force. Investigation of the arson is being treated as a possible hate crime, New York Daily News reported NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly as saying Tuesday.
According to reports, Ublies has a criminal history consisting of over 50 prior arrests, including offense related to robbery, drugs and assault.
“This is a blatant act of anti-Semitism with a clear attempt to instill fear and intimidate the victims in their homes,” said Etzion Neuer, the Anti-Defamation League’s acting New York regional director.