February 27, 2020

Police Arrest Suspect in Connection With Nessah Vandalism

Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills (Wikimedia Commons)

Authorities have arrested a 24-year-old Pennsylvanian man in connection with the vandalism  at Nessah Synagogue this past Shabbat.

The Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) announced Dec. 18 it had arrested Anton Nathaniel Redding, 24, of Millersville, Pa, in  Hawaii. He was charged with vandalism of a religious property and commercial burglary. The charges include a hate crime penalty enhancement.

In its statement, BHPD said Redding was apprehended as a “result of a thorough investigation, review of surveillance footage and the processing of forensic evidence.”

BHPD worked with federal and local law enforcement agents. After discovering Redding was in Hawaii BHPD  Redding was eventually located in Kona  and taken into custody.  He is currently being held in Hawaii without bail ahead of an extradition hearing. Once extradited he is slated to appear at the Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles.

BHPD said it detained another suspect on the evening of Dec. 14. “However, that subject was excluded as a suspect based on forensic evidence and was ultimately released from detention.”

Beverly Hills Mayor John Mirisch applauded BHPD’s work. He issued a statement saying,  “I said we would catch this guy and we did. The criminal who we believe desecrated a holy place on Shabbat is now in custody thanks to the superb work of the Beverly Hills Police Department. The Beverly Hills community is strong and will not be intimidated by despicable acts. Our thoughts remain with the Nessah community as they work to move forward from this terrible crime.”

The incident occurred around 2 a.m. on Dec. 14. The suspect desecrated Torah scrolls, overturned furniture and ransacked several areas of the Beverly Hills sanctuary, which serves the Iranian-Jewish community. An employee at Nessah discovered the burglary hours later around 7 a.m., on Shabbat. Nothing was stolen and nobody was injured.