Four teenagers were arrested for toppling hundreds of headstones at a New Jersey cemetery.
Law enforcement officials said the suspects, aged 15 to 17, were not targeting the Jewish community when they toppled 499 headstones at the Poile Zedek cemetery in New Brunswick on Jan. 4, breaking many of them.
The teens were arrested Wednesday night and charged with juvenile delinquency. They are being held in the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention facility.
“The facts as presently known do not indicate that the damage caused was an attempt to intimidate, target or harm the Jewish community,” Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan and New Brunswick Police Deputy Director Anthony Caputo said in a statement Thursday.
Etzion Neuer, the Anti-Defamation League’s New Jersey Regional director, said the ADL welcomed the arrests “in this heinous and utterly shocking attack against a Jewish burial ground.”
â€œThe arrests send an important message to the community that these kinds of attacks are unacceptable,” he said.
The American Jewish Committee announced it will contribute $5,000 to help repair the extensive damage.