Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Suspect Arrested on Hate Crime Charges in Brooklyn Mezuzah Burnings

View Comments (



    Police have arrested a suspected arsonist on hate crime charges in connection with the burnings of a dozen mezuzahs over the past several days in Brooklyn. 

    Mezuzahs are Hebrew-inscribed parchments affixed to doorways of Jewish homes.

    Mezuzah Burnings Probed as Possible Hate Crime: Sources

    [NY] Mezuzah Burnings Probed as Possible Hate Crime: Sources
    Police are investigating a possible hate crime in Brooklyn where mezuzahs were burned off the doorframes of at least a dozen apartments inside a public housing building, according to law enforcement sources. Ida Siegal reports.

    Eleven mezuzahs were found vandalized on Monday in one building on Taylor Street in Williamsburg, and another a day later in a building on Clymer Street.

    Authorities say Ruben Ubiles, 35, was seen on surveillance cameras lighting a match in one of the buildings, and investigators have video of him inside both buildings at the time of the crimes.

    A law enforcement official tells NBC 4 New York that Ubiles has also made statements implicating himself.

    The charges include 12 counts of burglary as a hate crime, 12 counts of arson as a hate crime and 12 counts of criminal mischief as a hate crime.

    Ubiles is being evaluated at a hospital and information about an attorney wasn't immediately available. Police would not say why he was taken to a hospital.

    Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytimeiPhone/iPad App | Twitter | Facebook | Email Newsletters Send Us News Tips | Google+ | Instagram | RSS