Attempted Murder Charge in Hasidic Village Religious Fight

Cops tell paper the victim's family had been targeted before because the victim prayed outside the main synagogue.

Monday, May 23, 2011  |  Updated 6:13 PM EDT
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Ramapo police arrested 18-year-old Shaul Spitzer on felony counts of first-degree attempted arson and first-degree assault.

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A charge of attempted murder has been added against an 18-year-old New York man who allegedly set a neighbor on fire in what may have been a religious dispute in a Hasidic Jewish village.

Ramapo police Chief Peter Brower said Monday that Shaul Spitzer of New Square was trying to burn down Aron Rottenberg's house when both men suffered burns and were hospitalized Sunday.

Brower said the 43-year-old Rottenberg had third-degree burns on half his body. Spitzer had burns on his hands and arms. He now faces charges of arson, assault and attempted murder. Police did not know if he had a lawyer.

A relative said Rottenberg's family has been threatened because they do not worship at New Square's main synagogue. Brower said only that there had been "other instances'' at the home.

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