LOS ANGELES (KCBS/KCAL/CNN) — Authorities in Southern California arrested a 24-year-old Pennsylvania man for vandalizing a synagogue.
The charges Anton Nathaniel Redding face include a penalty enhancement for a hate crime.
The suspect accused of vandalizing the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills last Saturday is now in police custody.
Pictures from inside show overturned furniture, scattered prayer books, damaged scrolls, and much more.
“We located the suspect Anton Nathaniel Redding, 24-years-old out of the state of Pennsylvania and arrested him in Kona, Hawaii, bringing some peace of mind to our community,” said Chief Sandra Spagnoli of the Beverly Hills Police Department.
Police say the suspect hopped on a plane to Hawaii after allegedly ransacking the house of worship.
At a community town hall Wednesday evening, leaders in the Jewish community said its important to unite when hatred arises.
“We will not sit on our hands we will not cower in fear but we will respond with a community that cares for its neighbors and works to build greater understanding throughout America,” said Richard Hirschhaut, Los Angeles Director of the American Jewish Committee.
The vandalism comes on the heels of a deadly attack at a kosher market in jersey city which investigators say was fueled by antisemitism.
Many are left wondering if that attack motivated the incident at Nessah Synagogue.
“There’s so much hatred there’s so much anger in the world today unfortunately sometimes it’s focused in all the wrong ways,” Rabbi Yoshi Zweiback of the Stephen Wise Temple.
Fear didn’t stop community members from joining Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in Downtown Los Angeles for the annual menorah lighting at city hall.
With anti-semitic crimes on the rise, those who celebrate Hanukkah are taking a moment to reflect on how to put a stop to this hatred.
“An attack on any one of us is an attack on all of us, enough is enough I don’t just say it as a jew but as an American, we have to figure out a way to be one nation,” Garcetti said.