Massachusetts man indicted for attempt to firebomb Jewish nursing home

Grand jury indicts Massachusetts man who tried to firebomb Jewish-sponsored assisted living facility.

Marcy Oster, JTA ,

Gavel (illustration)
Gavel (illustration)
iStock

A federal grand jury has indicted a Massachusetts man accused of using a homemade explosive to commit arson at a Jewish-sponsored assisted living facility.

John Michael Rathbun, 36, was charged on two counts Tuesday, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

The targeted facility, Ruth’s House in Longmeadow, a suburb of Springfield, is situated within one square mile of several other Jewish facilities, including three synagogues, a Jewish private school and a Jewish community center. The facility is owned by JGS Lifecare.

Rathbun was arrested on April 15 and has been in federal custody since April 17.

His homemade bomb, discovered on April 2, was made of a five-gallon plastic gas canister filled with flammable liquid, with burnt paper later identified as a Christian religious pamphlet placed in the nozzle of the canister, according to the complaint. Part of the pamphlet was charred after being lit on fire in an attempt to ignite the gas.



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