(JTA) — Police in Boston have arrested a city man in the vandalism of the Holocaust memorial there.
James Issac, 21, of the Roxbury neighborhood, was arrested early Wednesday morning shortly after a glass panel of the New England Holocaust Museum was smashed with a large rock, the Boston Globe reported. Issac reportedly was identified as the vandal by a witness.
Issac was charged with two counts of willful and malicious destruction of personal property, according to the Globe. He could also face civil rights charges in the incident.
The memorial opened in 1995 in the heart of Boston and is open to the public 24 hours a day. It includes six glass towers representing the 6 million Jews killed during the Holocaust, as well as the six major death camps. The towers resemble chimneys built with 132 panes of glass etched with numbers that had been tattooed on the arms of Jews during the Holocaust.
“This morning’s vandalism of the Holocaust memorial site will not be tolerated in Boston,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement Wednesday morning. “Together with the Boston Police, we will make sure anyone involved in this act will be held responsible.”
The American Jewish Committee in a statement released later on Wednesday praised the hundreds of people who gathered Wednesday morning at the monument and “demonstrated that our community speaks with one voice in condemning this act and affirming the unique role the Memorial plays in our community.”
JC New England President Jon Dorfman and Director Rob Leikind said in a statement: “For more than two decades, people from around the world have passed through this Memorial and embraced its call for respect and tolerance. Today’s sad event does not change this. Rather, it is an urgent reminder that we all rededicate ourselves to the ideals that this memorial embodies.”