A New Jersey man has been apprehended by authorities for his attempt to set fire to a synagogue located in Essex County, New Jersey.
Nicholas Malindretos, age 26, is accused of attempting to use fire in order to cause harm to and demolish a building that was used for interstate commerce.
On January 29th, 2023 at 3:19am, a security camera at the Temple Ner Tamid Jewish Congregation in Bloomfield, New Jersey captured an individual identified as Malindretos approaching the temple.
The suspect was dressed in a black ski mask, a dark hooded sweatshirt, black pants, dark shoes, and white gloves. The surveillance showed Malindretos approaching the front entrance of the temple and pausing.
He then lit the wick of a bottle and hurled it at the front glass doors of the temple, before taking off from the scene on foot.
A license plate reader situated close to the crime scene captured a car passing by before and after the incident occurred. Upon locating the vehicle in Clifton, law enforcement officers noticed several objects inside which matched the footage of the incident.
They then proceeded to get a search warrant for the car. Surveillance footage from the area where the car was parked also showed a male individual with physical characteristics similar to Malindretos getting out of the vehicle and entering an adjacent building.
Any attempt to set fire to a building employed in interstate commerce carries a penalty of at least five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.