Teen charged for vandalizing NE synagogue

The 13-year-old boy accused of hurling a rock through a stained-glass window of a Tacony synagogue on March 27 has been charged with two earlier window-breaking incidents at the same religious building.

Police have not identified the boy publicly because of his age, but Capt. Shawn Trush of Northeast Detectives said on Tuesday that the youth has been charged with vandalizing Temple Menorah Keneseth Chai, at 4301 Tyson Ave., on Dec. 2 and Jan. 6. A second boy that appeared to be with the suspect during the March 27 incident has not been accused of a crime.


The congregation installed new surveillance cameras on the synagogue after the earlier two incidents. On March 27, the cameras recorded two boys outside the property at about 10 a.m. when someone threw a rock through a yellow pane of glass. The projectile landed inside the building. There were no injuries.

Using the video, detectives identified the boys. When they questioned the 13-year-old with his parents that night, the boy admitted responsibility for the latest incident. He was charged as a juvenile with mischief, institutional vandalism and possessing an instrument of crime.

Police concluded that the incident was not motivated by anti-Semitism. Rather, it was destructive impulse. The 13-year-old claimed that his friend suggested that they go to the location.

Trush did not discuss how detectives gleaned that the 13-year-old was also involved in the earlier two incidents. They now believe that he used rocks from a neighbor’s yard to shatter one pane of glass on Dec. 2 and about five more panes on Jan. 6. The total damage was valued at about $2,700. ••