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Massachusetts Teacher Faces Multiple Charges for Hateful, Anti-Jewish Infractions

Earlier this week, Newton police charged a man with two separate antisemitic hate crimes. On Friday, that man faced a judge.

Alexei Rodriguez, 49, of Roslindale, was arraigned in Newton District Court on Friday, for vandalizing the Jewish Community Center of Greater Boston as well as harassing and threatening Jewish minors with his vehicle last month.

Rodriguez’s bail was set at $500, and as a bail condition, he has been ordered to stay away from all Jewish temples and synagogues. His next hearing is set for June 20.

Here’s what we know so far:

On Tuesday, police responded to calls about a man tearing blue ribbons (a sign of support for Israel) at the Jewish Community Center.

When they arrived, officers found Rodriguez who, according to Assistant Middlesex District attorney Sheba Treworgy, admitted to tearing down the ribbons.

Police arrested Rodriguez for the vandalism and then, after further investigation, determined he was also the suspect in an incident on April 30.

Police say Rodriguez drove to Newton on that day in an SUV and started harassing a group of young Jewish minors who were walking outside wearing yarmulkes. Police say he drove the SUV toward them in a threatening way and almost hit them.

Rodriguez is charged with defacing property and larceny under $1,200 for the Tuesday JCC incident. For the April 30 incident, he’s charged with assault for the purpose of intimidation, assault with a dangerous weapon and violation of constitutional rights.

Rodriguez is a professional drummer, and he’s made a name for himself in the Boston music scene. He has a page on the website ReverbNation, which lists him as the current drummer for the metal band Cortez.

On the band website, Cortez has announced that they “will have a larger announcement next week, but effective today, Cortez is parting ways with our drummer, Alexei.”

According to his Wikipedia page, Rodriguez formed his first band, Catharsis, shortly after graduating from high school in 1992. He lived in Detroit and Los Angeles, playing in bands in both cities and touring with the band Prong, before moving to Boston.

In 2007, Rodriguez publicly apologized after repeatedly punching a fellow musician in England when he was in the band 3 Inches of Blood.

And he once went by the stage name “Baron Burri von Blixen.”

Rodriguez is listed as a faculty member at the Prospect Hill Charter School in Cambridge, teaching ESL (English as a second language). His attorney, David Jellinek, said on Friday that Rodriguez is a teacher there.

Jellinek also said in court that Rodriguez identifies as Jewish and has been dealing with mental health issues.

LinkedIn page with Rodriguez’s photo and biography, created in 2011, lists him as having attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

That LinkedIn profile lists him as a “professional cop hater” and has a background photo that’s a map of the Palestinian territory in 1946 next to a map of Israel in 2023 with the word “Israeled.”

According to Assistant D.A. Treworgy, when Rodriguez admitted to police that he had removed the blue ribbons at the JCC, he began talking to them about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.