Yeshiva University Arson Suspect Charged, Released, Rearrested Four Hours Later
A Yeshiva University dormitory was set aflame on Friday by a 33-year-old suspect who was set free on supervised release and then soon after rearrested after another incident of vandalism, the New York Post reported.
According to CNN, the suspect, Peter Weyand, is facing charges of arson, criminal trespass, and other offenses after he broke into the Schottenstein Residence dormitory and set three fires using matches intended for lighting a Hanukkah menorah.
Firefighters responded quickly and extinguished the fires. No one was injured as a result. Weyand was arrested shortly afterward after being caught on a security camera video.
Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said in a statement, “Attacking any religious institution is a serious crime and we have zero tolerance for acts of arson in this city. Thanks to the thorough investigative work of our Fire Marshals, a dangerous individual has been quickly apprehended.”
In a bizarre twist, however, Weyand was rearrested shortly after being arraigned and released. According to the Post, he broke into the backyard of a Staten Island home less than four hours later.
It was also revealed that Weyand had been arrested on misdemeanor charges earlier this month after menacing his roommate by sharpening a knife outside his door and saying, “Here piggy, piggy, piggy.”
The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force tweeted of the arson, “While the arson at Yeshiva University is currently not believed to be a hate crime, the NYPD and HCTF are staying touch with @FDNY until a final determination is made.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also commented, saying, “While law enforcement does not currently think this is a hate crime, we take ANY desecration of a religious institution seriously. An investigation is ongoing.”