A Bronx cops’ wrong-way bicycling bust apprehends a perpetrator in a hate crime vandalism.
A man arrested early Saturday in the Bronx for riding a bicycle against traffic is suspected of being responsible for a spate of anti-Jewish hate crime vandalism in Riverdale, police said.
Jordan Burnette, 29, a Riverdale native, faces “numerous charges in connection with the numerous acts of vandalism that have occurred in this city as hate crimes,” according to NYPD Deputy Inspector Jessica Corey, who heads the department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
Burnette is accused of broken windows at four Bronx synagogues on April 24 and 25: Young Israel of Riverdale on Henry Hudson Parkway, Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale on W. 250th St., Chabad Lubavitch of Riverdale on W. 246th St., and the Riverdale Jewish Center on Independence Ave.
After apprehending Burnette at 3 a.m. Saturday near the intersection of Delafield Ave. and W. 246th St., police discovered he had been caught earlier that night on surveillance video at Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel, Corey said.
“When officers searched the synagogue’s parking lot, they discovered siddurim, or religious prayer books, strewn about,” Corey said.
“They also found an open shed filled with bicycles,” she said. Police presented the synagogue caretaker with a photograph of the bike Burnette was riding — and the caretaker verified that the bike originated in the shed, according to police.
Burnette was charged with burglary in the context of a hate crime, criminal mischief in the context of a hate crime, aggravated assault in the context of a hate crime, criminal trespass in the context of a hate crime, and other counts, according to police.
On Saturday night, as he was being led out of the 50th Precinct stationhouse in Riverdale, Corey was asked what he thought of synagogues.
“I believe in Jesus,” he said emphatically. “Jesus Christ is the true messiah. That is what I am aware of. I made no rock throws.”
John Miller, the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism, attributed the arrest to a coordinated police operation.
“You have a mixture of highly specialized detective work, intelligence, analysis, surveillance, and patrol officers operating on their intuition in those streets,” he said.
“You throw all of that at an investigation like this, and you have no idea who can break it. However, you must use certain tools in order to achieve success.”