Monday, August 8th | 11 Av 5782

December 3, 2019 1:34 pm

Suspect Arrested After Vandalization of Historic DC Synagogue

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

The historic Sixth and I synagogue in Washington, DC. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A 28-year-old man was arrested on Monday in connection with the vandalization three days earlier of the historic Sixth & I Synagogue in Washington, DC.

Friday’s incident saw swastikas written in red ink on a staircase and the word “JEW” carved into a door.

The suspected perpetrator was identified as Luis Montsinos, 28, with no fixed address. He is facing charges of defacing and destroying property, as well as resisting arrest.

“While the damage to the building is minimal and will be fixed quickly, events like this can throw even the toughest person into a tailspin,” Sixth & I Rabbis Shira Stutman, Aaron Potek and Jesse Paikin said. “Given the current climate, we unfortunately are not surprised by this happening.”

“In these moments, it’s important to remember that it is not a shame but an honor to be a Jew,” the rabbis added. “We can and will respond to this hateful act with open doors, in resilience and spirit, living Jewish lives of joy, optimism and pride.”

The mayor of Washington, DC, Muriel Bowser, tweeted on Monday, “@SixthandI is a pillar of DC values — a center of inclusivity, community, and spirituality. That members of our community had to face anti-Semitism during a weekend focused on gratitude is heartbreaking and today we send them and the entire DC Jewish community a signal of love, strength, and solidarity.”

“Hate crimes against any of our communities have no place in DC and we will continue to work vigilantly with MPD to pursue every resource to prevent these acts and hold perpetrators accountable,” she added.

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