An Indiana man has been arrested for desecrating several mezuzahs on the front doors of residents of Bloomington, WIBC reported.
According to Bloomington police, in one instance Jeremy Chung Ho Park Patzelt allegedly stole the mezuzah from the front door of a home over the weekend. The suspect, who is a graduate student at Indiana University, then burned the mezuzah.
He was charged only with criminal mischief and not with a hate crime.
The arrest followed a similar incident that occurred earlier in the month in which a mezuzah belonging to Jewish Indiana University (IU) students was ripped off the door of their apartment and set on fire.
That antisemitic incident was brought to light by Indiana University’s Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism.
“We are saddened to learn of an antisemitic attack against IU students at their apartment this week in which their mezuzah was ripped off and set on fire,” the institute posted on Instagram. “We stand in solidarity with these students and condemn such antisemitic hate crimes.”
Alvin Rosenfeld, a professor of Jewish studies at Indiana University, told WISH-TV that the defacement of mezuzahs has become a repeat occurrence in Bloomington.
“Last year continuing into this year, there have been some ugly incidents involving the stripping of Mezuzahs,” he said.