Suspect arrested in vandalism at historic Prospect Heights synagogue, say police sources


A vandal who scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti in a Brooklyn synagogue and set fires around several other Jewish places of worship was arrested Friday, police sources said.

Cops committed James Polite, 26 of Bedford-Stuyvesant to the psychiatric ward at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn. He is charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime and making graffiti, cops said.

The suspect was busted in the same clothes he wore in surveillance video of his vandalism at the historic Union Temple in Prospect Heights. Polite is also suspected of setting a series of small trash fires in and around synagogues in Williamsburg, police sources said.

An employee at the historic synagogue, on Eastern Parkway, found “Hitler,” “Jews better be ready” and “Die Jew rats, we are here!” written in black marker in the hallways and stairwells of the first, third and fourth floors on Thursday night, police said.

There were also drawings of the Puerto Rican flag and the words “Free PR,” cops said.

Union Temple’s rabbi said the vandalism left him and his congregation more intent on carrying on their good works.

“We are committed, more resolved than ever to continue with our mission, and when I say ‘our mission,’ I mean our mission: love, hope, diversity, tolerance, amity, equity, community, understanding,” Rabbi Mark Sameth said. “That’s what we’re all about.”

Mayor de Blasio visited the temple on Friday night and called the incident “tremendously upsetting.”

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