New York

Man Accused of Torching Iconic ‘Mitzvah' Bus: NYPD

Police have arrested the man they say torched the “mitzvah” bus, a symbol of Jewish pride in Brooklyn.

After a month-long search, Jackson Joseph of Brooklyn was charged with arson and criminal mischief on Monday, police said.

In June, Joseph, 30, set fire to the repurposed bus in Crown Heights, which was painted elaborately with religious imagery and was a cultural fixture in the community.

Police are still investigating Joseph’s motive for destroying the bus. They are considering the possibility that it was a hate crime.

A bus that’s part of a Jewish art project in Crown Heights was destroyed in a fire. The artist who owns it wants to know why, and he says he hasn’t gotten much help from police. Roseanne Colletti reports.

Police located Joseph after releasing surveillance footage shortly after the incident. They say he intentionally burned the bus.

Leviticus Schieber, the bus owner, used the vehicle as both an art studio and to transport his two daughters to school.

“It represents the Jewish spirit and sort of old-school Crown Heights,” Schieber said.

The rolling art project also appeared in many New York parades. Most recently, it was featured in a music video by Benny Friedman, a popular Jewish entertainer, in his hit song “I’m Jew and I’m Proud.”

The fire wasn’t the first time the bus was purposefully damaged — according to Schieber, one of its tires was slashed about a year and a half ago.

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