Englewood police have arrested the man they suspect of shooting a BB-gun at a Jewish teenager wearing a yarmulke in front of a kosher restaurant in the New Jersey township.
The mayor of Englewood, New Jersey, had said he is taking the incident “very seriously.”
“I don’t take lightly that this happened in front of a kosher restaurant, to a young man wearing a yarmulke, and will see that this is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes said in a statement. “I have been in contact with Englewood Police… I have been in touch with the victims’ family.”
Shots were fired from a car moving down East Palisade Avenue, in Englewood, at a visibly Jewish teen standing in front of Zula Mediterranean Grill. The teen and another person were struck, and suffered “minor injuries.” Witnesses recorded the license plate number of the vehicle.
Wildes said he was “advised by police authorities in our City that there is not a perceptible threat to the general Jewish community based on this incident.”
At 11 AM the following morning, police arrested a 20-year-old male from Bergenfield, New Jersey, and charged him with two counts of aggravated assault, as well as possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. “The defendant has not been charged with a bias crime, and based upon our investigation, it does not appear that the victims were targeted,” a police statement said.
NGO StopAntisemitism reported the identity of the shooter as Jason Suarez. Suarez was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault, as well as possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
“As always, the Englewood Police Department will thoroughly investigate all reports of crime and vigorously pursue any incidents that appear to be biased in nature. We must commend the quick actions of the victims and witnesses who reported the incident. The detailed information they provided was crucial to our investigators in the identification of the suspect. We would also like to laud our officers and detectives for their aggressive investigation, which allowed us to quickly arrest and charge the suspect.”