FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Fresno Police have arrested 30-year-old Orlando Ramirez as the man they say is responsible for breaking two windows at ‘Noah’s Ark Restaurant and Bakery’ and leaving behind a note threatening further incidents at Jewish-owned businesses.
He has been charged with three felonies for a hate crime, vandalism, and criminal threats.
Police say surveillance video pinned him at the scene of the crime early Tuesday morning, which they say showed him throw rocks directly at the windows and leave the note behind.
“They quickly obtained a search warrant for his residence. They also obtained an arrest warrant for him as well. And early last night they took Mr. Ramirez into custody,” said Lt. Bill Dooley, public information officer for Fresno Police.
Roughly two miles away around 6 a.m. that same day, the front door of Temple Beth Israel was also found smashed with a rock.
Ramirez, who has a limited criminal history of vandalism, is now being investigated for that incident as well.
“Mr. Ramirez is a very strong person of interest in the Temple Beth Israel case. And that investigation is still ongoing. We’re still obtaining additional surveillance videos to seal up that case,” said Lt. Dooley.
Fresno Police have increased patrols in areas around both vandalism sites.
In addition, officers were also stationed at Wednesday evening’s dual prayer rallies at Cornerstone Church in downtown.
One prayer rally was labeled to support Israel, and the other was advertised to support Palestine.
The senior pastor for Cornerstone Church, which hosted the ‘Stand with Israel Prayer Rally’, says they don’t want hostilities with anyone, as he says both groups are after the same thing.
“There are innocent people on both sides that are being injured by this, or being killed by this. We’re praying for the peace of Jerusalem, for that entire area. We’re not against individuals. We’re against the evil that we’re seeing,” said Jim Franklin, senior pastor at Cornerstone Church.