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Thursday, December 19, 2019
Alleged Synagogue Vandal Arrested in Kailua-Kona
By News Release @ 2:35 AM :: 1239 Views :: Law Enforcement, Religion

ARREST MADE IN SYNAGOGUE VANDALISM CASE

News Release from Beverly Hills, California Police Department, December 18, 2019

Beverly Hills, CA – The Beverly Hills Police Department has made an arrest in connection with the vandalism that took place at the Nessah Synagogue on Saturday, December 14th.

Anton Nathaniel Redding, 24, of Millersville, Pennsylvania was arrested and charged with Vandalism of a Religious Property, and Commercial Burglary (§594.3(a) and §459 of the California Penal Code).  The charges filed include a penalty enhancement for a Hate Crime under §422.75(a) of the California Penal Code.

Redding was identified as a suspect on December 17th as a result of a thorough investigation, review of surveillance footage and the processing of forensic evidence.  Once Redding was identified, a warrant was obtained for his arrest, and investigators along with the crime impact team shifted their focus to locating Redding. 

Shortly after identifying Redding as the suspect, investigators determined that Redding was in the state of Hawaii.  Detectives traveled to Hawaii to locate Redding.  Working collectively with the local Hawaiian authorities, Redding was located in Kona and taken into custody.

Redding is currently being held in custody, without bail, where he will remain until an extradition hearing is held to authorize his transfer to the state of California.  Once the extradition is approved, Redding will be transferred from Hawaii to California and will ultimately appear at the Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles.

Beverly Hills Police personnel, in cooperation with federal and local law enforcement agencies, have been working tirelessly on this investigation and vetted through many leads before ultimately identifying Redding as the suspect.  Earlier in the investigation, the department evaluated what appeared to be a promising lead related to a subject who was detained by our department the evening of December 14th; however, that subject was excluded as a suspect based on forensic evidence and was ultimately released from detention.

BHPD would like to thank our partner law enforcement agencies, in particular the Los Angeles Police Department, the United States Secret Service, the Joint Regional Intelligence Center, the Hawaii Police Department and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  We also extend our thanks to community organizations, to include the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Nessah Synagogue family, and other community members who have offered great assistance and support during this investigation and most difficult time for the City and the Nessah community.

"I said we would catch this guy and we did,” said Mayor John Mirisch.  "The criminal who we believe desecrated a holy place on Shabbat is now in custody thanks to the superb work of the Beverly Hills Police Department.  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.”  

“I am so pleased that the collective efforts and relentless police work on this case has resulted in the apprehension of the suspect and a criminal filing,” said Beverly Hills Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli. “I’d like to thank our staff, partner law enforcement agencies, and community organizations for their expeditious work and support during this difficult time.”

  *   *   *   *   *

Police Investigating Synagogue Vandalism

News Release from Beverly Hills, California Police Department, December 14, 2019

Beverly Hills, CA– The Beverly Hills Police Department is actively investigating a series of vandalisms that occurred in the City of Beverly Hills overnight.  Earlier this morning, shortly after 7 a.m., police responded to a call of a vandalism at the Nessah Synagogue (142 S. Rexford Dr.). An employee notified security when he arrived for work and found an open door and items ransacked inside the synagogue.

Preliminary, investigators believe a lone male suspect committed a series of minor vandalisms as he traversed through the Rexford/Elm alley south of Wilshire Blvd. during the early morning hours.  At approximately 2:00 a.m. the same suspect made his way to the Nessah Synagogue and forced entry into the location.  The suspect then moved throughout the synagogue, heavily ransacking the interior. The suspect disrupted the furnishings, and contents of the synagogue by overturning furniture and distributing brochures and materials throughout the interior.  The suspect damaged several Jewish relics, but fortunately the Synagogue’s main scrolls survived unscathed.  The disruption was primarily to the Synagogue’s interior contents, and there is very limited structural damage. 

At this point in the investigation, it does not appear that any Synagogue property was stolen during the crime.  No one was inside the Synagogue during the crime, and no one was injured. 

Although police are investigating the crime as a hate crime, the suspect left no markings or other overt signs of anti-Semitism. 

Several members of the Police Department have responded to assist with the investigation, clean-up efforts and to provide additional patrols throughout the Sabbath.  Significant efforts are underway to identify and locate the suspect.

Police have been working closely with the leadership of Nessah Synagogue.  The Synagogue plans to initiate clean-up efforts immediately and re-open the Synagogue tomorrow.  

The suspect is described as a male white, 20-25 years of age, short dark curly hair, thin build, possibly wearing prescription glasses, shorts, low top shoes (possibly Pumas) and carried a backpack and pulled a rolling suitcase.  

“This cowardly attack hits at the heart of who we are as a community,” said Mayor John Mirisch.  “It is not just an attack on the Jewish Community of Beverly Hills; it’s an attack on all of us. The entire City stands in solidarity behind Nessah, its members and congregants. We are committed to catching the criminal who desecrated a holy place on Shabbat of all days and bringing him to justice.  We are equally committed that our City will continue to be a welcoming place for Jews and for members of all religions and groups.”

BHPD Press Release

Anyone who has information about this crime or the identity of the suspect is encouraged to call the Beverly Hills Police Department at (310) 285-2125 or submit an anonymous tip by texting BEVHILLSPD followed by the tip information to 888777.

  *   *   *   *   *

BIN: Suspect in Beverly Hills Synagogue Vandalism Found in Kona "The 24-year-old was located at 1 p.m. on Ali‘i Drive by the pier." 

CBS: Man Who Fled To Hawaii Pleads Not Guilty To Hate Crime Charges In Beverly Hills Synagogue Vandalism

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