Nov 21, 2022

Suspects arraigned in threat against synagogue Transcript

Suspects arraigned in threat against synagogue Transcript
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Authorities say they thwarted a planned attack against Jewish synagogues over the weekend in Manhattan. Read the transcript here.

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Chris (00:00):

… A potential act of violence and violent hate directed at New York’s Jewish community over the weekend, police say that they thwarted a planned attack on local synagogues.

Mary (00:07):

This morning, the mayor and police commissioner will have more to say about it. CBS2’s Zinnia Maldonado joins us live from City Hall in Lower Manhattan. Zinnia.

Zinnia Maldonado (00:17):

Chris and Mary, Mayor Eric Adams, alongside MTA officials and Jewish leaders, are set to speak here outside City Hall later this morning, on the joint effort it took over the weekend to stop that potential attack. And now two local men are facing multiple charges for allegedly plotting the assault.

The Jewish community continues to be on high alert after a major threat was stopped in its tracks at Penn Station over the weekend.

Mitchell Silber (00:41):

This could have been a Pittsburgh Tree of Life situation. This could have been a Buffalo Tops Supermarket type of situation. And thankfully, it was averted.

Zinnia Maldonado (00:51):

Police arresting 21-year-old Christopher Brown from Long Island, and 22-year-old Matthew Mahrer from Manhattan. The pair allegedly made threats to attack a New York City synagogue. They were arraigned over the weekend, Brown facing multiple charges, including making a terroristic threat, aggravated assault, and criminal possession of a weapon. Mahrer faces criminal possession of a weapon as well. Police say Brown was found with an eight inch knife and high capacity magazine when taken into custody. His family telling CBS2 exclusively, he is schizophrenic.

Kayla Brown (01:23):

He’s not a bad person, he’s just very sick, and he needs help.

Zinnia Maldonado (01:30):

Criminal complaints against both men cite Twitter messages that warned early last week, “Big moves being made on Friday.” And then Thursday, November 17th, read, “Gonna to ask a priest if I should become a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die.”

Rabbi Joshua Stanton (01:44):

Unfortunately, each and every time there’s an attack or a threat, we revisit the issue of security. This feels like a moment in the history of our country when we can’t have bystanders. This is a moment to be an upstander.

Roz Rothstein (01:58):

That this happened is unfortunately not a big surprise.

Zinnia Maldonado (02:03):

Roz Rothstein, co-founder of Stand With Us, an education organization that fights antisemitism, says it’s on the rise. This comes after threats were made to New Jersey synagogues earlier this month.

Scott Richman (02:14):

I mean, ADL does an audit of antisemitic incidents and that audit shows that antisemitic incidents have quadrupled in this country since 2013. And nowhere are the number of antisemitic incidents as high as in New York State.

Zinnia Maldonado (02:35):

And following this weekend, Governor Cathy Hochul says, State Police will also be available to provide extra security for synagogues in the city. Now, those two suspects are being held without bail right now, and they’re both due back in court on Wednesday. Live this morning from City Hall, Zinnia Maldonado, CBS2 News.

Mary (02:51):

Zinnia, thank you.

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