New Jersey

Vandal Smashes Windows, Camera & Doorbell at NYC Mosques: Cops

the NYPD's hate crimes task force is investigating after somebody vandalized a pair of Brooklyn mosques over the weekend, police say.

The NYPD said a man was caught on surveillance footage using a hammer to destroy parts of the Beit El-Maqdis Islamic Center about 5 p.m. on Saturday.

The man, who was last seen wearing a black hoodie, smashed out several windows of the Sunset Park mosque as well wrecked a camera, according to police. Afterwards, the man heading east on 62nd Street.

"We were shocked, we were upset," said Naim Jaward, a board member at Beit El-Maqdis Islamic Center. "This has never happened to us." 

Police say this man vandalized a mosque in Brooklyn and then fled the area.

Police said later Monday night that the same man is responsible for a second vandalism incident shortly after on the same evening when they say he used a hammer to destroy the doorbell, door knob and mailbox to the United American Muslim Association of New York.

The damage to the mosque comes about a week or so after several mosques in Paterson, New Jersey received threats in the wake of the NYC terror attack in Tribeca.

"We want to send a clear message to the individual who did this," Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said at a community rally for the mosque Monday that brought together residents and leaders across religious communities. "The hammer may have cracked the glass, but it did not crack our spirit and unity." 

Officials urge witnesses to call Crime Stoppers with tips that could lead the vandal’s arrest. The mosque told police the suspect is not one of their members. 

"The person who did this maybe thought that would scare us, separate us," said rabbi Joseph Pertznic. "On the contrary, the person brought us even closer together." 

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