(JTA) — A man suspected of writing “Kill All Jews” on a historic Brooklyn synagogue and setting fires in front of several yeshivas and synagogues in the Hasidic Williamsburg neighborhood was arrested by police.
James Polite, 26, was arrested on Friday evening and later charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime and making graffiti, the Associated Press reported.
He reportedly was admitted to a hospital psychiatric ward for observation, according to the AP.
The fires were set early on Friday morning at seven locations in South Williamsburg, all of them in front of Hasidic synagogues or yeshivas.
Because of the “Kill All Jews” graffiti discovered on Thursday at Union Temple in Brooklyn Heights, a political event scheduled for that night to be hosted by “Broad City” star Ilana Glazer was cancelled. Other hateful graffiti were discovered throughout the synagogue.
Polite, a gay and black man, spent most of his childhood in foster care but a chance meeting with former New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in 2008 presented him with the opportunity for an internship at City Hall.
According to a 2017 New York Times profile, Polite interned for Quinn for several years “working on initiatives to combat hate crime, sexual assault and domestic violence.”