Arrest made in Washington Hebrew graffiti vandalism

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Washington Hebrew Congregation

This story was updated on Oct. 24 with the name of the suspect.

A 19-year-old was arrested in connection with the anti-Semitic graffiti drawn at Washington Hebrew Congregation. Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig made the announcement Wednesday night before a talk by Deborah E. Lipstadt, a Holocaust scholar.


The suspect is 19-year-old Ryan Johnston, of Northwest DC, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. He is being charged with destruction of property.

“I fear the words they wrote are becoming all too familiar to them and to many others,” Lustig told the audience.

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The graffiti, scrawled in black permanent marker, was discovered on Oct. 18. The drawings included “numerous anti-Semitic statements, profane language, and child-like drawings of male and female genitalia,” had been there for a week before they were found by an on-duty security guard, according to the police report.

According to Steven Jacober, the synagogue’s executive director, the graffiti, which was mainly  “anti-Israel,” in nature was “not visible to any congregants.”


Jacober and Lustig declined to comment on the arrest.

“It’s a permanent reminder of the world we live in,” said congregant Linne Ross.

This is an ongoing story, and this article will be updated as the story develops.

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Twitter: @SamScoopCooper

 

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