(LOS ANGELES, CA - 12/19/2019) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today welcomed the arrest of a man suspected of breaking into and vandalizing Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills.
According to a release from the Beverly Hills Police Department, Anton Nathaniel Redding, 24, of Millersville, Penn., was arrested on Wednesday in Kona, HI and charged with vandalism of a religious property and commercial burglary. The charges filed include a penalty enhancement for a hate crime.
Redding is accused of breaking into the synagogue on Saturday, Dec. 14, overturning furniture, scattering prayer books and damaging Torah scrolls.
READ: Arrest Made in Synagogue Vandalism https://www.beverlyhills.org/cbhfiles/storage/files/932461321975196037/12-18-19SynagogueVandalismArrest.pdf
In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:
“We commend the Beverly Hills Police Department for quickly identifying, apprehending and charging this person with a hate crime. The normalization of hate speech in the past three years has emboldened bigots in their speech as well as their actions. Anti-Semitism and xenophobia in any form are unacceptable. Prosecuting hate crimes as such will send a message that acting on one’s hated is unacceptable in normal society.”
In a statement, Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch said:
"I said we would catch this guy and we did. … The Beverly Hills community is strong and will not be intimidated by despicable acts. Our thoughts remain with the Nessah community as they work to move forward from this terrible crime.”
“We commend the actions of the Beverly Hills Police Department for investigating this incident as a hate crime and look forward to the swift apprehension of the suspect,” Ayloush said.
Ayloush urged community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-LA's Civil Rights Department at 714-776-1177 or by filing a report at: https://bit.ly/2L9Ezsw.
CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.
CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-776-1847 or firstname.lastname@example.org