Wooden mezuza 370.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
NEW YORK – New York authorities have apprehended a man suspected of snatching
and burning 11 mezuzot in Brooklyn on Holocaust Remembrance Day, which fell on
NYPD officials told The Jerusalem Post that no arrest has been
affected, but sources at the New York Post said that Rubin Ubiles, 35, was being
held as a suspect after facial recognition software allegedly identified him as
a man caught on tape at the scene of the crime.
New York City Council
Speaker Christine Quinn – a front-runner in the race to succeed Michael
Bloomberg as mayor – held a press conference on Tuesday at Independence Towers
in Williamsburg, where the crime was committed, with locals affected by what was
widely perceived to be a hate crime.
“Acts of hatred against the Jewish
community have no place in our city,” said Quinn.
“I applaud the NYPD for
their swift response to these hate crimes and for apprehending the suspect. We
stand united against hate in Williamsburg, across Brooklyn and throughout New
York City,” she continued.
“The city will not tolerate anyone who thinks
they can strike fear in the Jewish community.”
At 8 a.m. on Wednesday,
Ubiles published a lengthy post on Facebook proclaiming his innocence.
has friends that are Jewish, he wrote, and added that arson is not his
A long parade of public officials issued statements praising the
NYPD’s efficiency in its investigation.
It took the force only three days
to take a suspect into custody.
Remnants of the Jewish artifacts were
supposedly found on the same block where the suspect was seen on camera lighting
Local media outlet CBS New York reported that Ubiles had an
extensive criminal history, with 52 arrests on claims of assault, robbery, drugs
and auto theft.
Hate crime legislation in New York states that violence,
intimidation and destruction of property based on bias or prejudice are unique
and separate prosecutable offenses.