A man was taken into police custody in connection with an act of anti-Semitic vandalism earlier this month at Chabad on River in Tucson, Arizona, reported KVOA.
On June 7, at 8:26 a.m., Tucson police were notified about a large red swastika and an anti-Semitic slur spray painted on the door of a classroom building at Chabad on River.
Shortly after it occurred, Jewish Arizona State Representative Alma Hernandez broke news of the incident on social media.
“Sad to wake up to the news that @Chabad on River was vandalized,” she tweeted. “When it happens to one, it happens to all of us. The amount of Jewish hate isn’t shocking. The silence is. This is NOT my Tucson. Please keep AZ Jewish community in your prayers.”
The center’s director, Rabbi Rami Bigelman, discovered the defaced door as he was about to give a Torah class. He estimated the vandalism done in red paint took place over two days, reported ColLive.
The bottom graffiti appeared to be of a slightly different shade of red than the swastika above it.
Chabad on River contains a synagogues and classes. It is one of five Chabad centers in Southern Arizona.
A police investigation led to the arrest of the alleged vandal, Nathan Beaver, 30.
He was arrested and booked into Pima County jail, charged with aggravated criminal damage.
“I know this incident was deeply troubling to our entire community,” said Mayor Romero in a statement. “I appreciate the dedicated work of our police department’s officers and detectives to identify and apprehend the suspect.”
Tucson Police Department Chief Chris Magnus added, “We have continually expressed we have no tolerance for crimes based on hate or targeted towards places of worship. This arrest confirms that commitment.”
The Tucson Jewish community has experienced an uptick in anti-Semitic incidents in the last few months.
In May, a “small boulder” was used to smash the windows of the glass front door of a Tucson synagogue. Congregation Chaverim, already financially strapped, was left with both glass panes of its front door smashed in.
In response to increased anti-Semitism, the local community held a rally on June 13.
The purpose of the evening candlelight march was to show solidarity in the face of recent incidents of anti-Semitism which have targeted the city’s community of approximately 25,000 Jews.