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Police Arrest Man Who Yelled, “Gas the Jews” and Sprayed Substance at D.C. Synagogue

A man was arrested and is facing charges after police say he sprayed an unknown substance at two people outside a D.C. synagogue while shouting antisemitic remarks. 

The incident happened Sunday just before 9:30 a.m. outside the Kesher Israel Congregation in the 2800 block of N Street in Georgetown.

Detectives say they placed 33-year-old Brent Wood under arrest at the scene. His vehicle was checked, but no hazardous materials were found. No injuries were reported.

Wood’s last known address was in Toledo, Ohio.  He faces  two simple assault charges. 

Wood pleaded not guilty to two simple assault charges. He was released with conditions to stay away from the synagogue and the two people who were sprayed.

The Metropolitan Police Department says they are investigating this offense as being motivated by hate or bias. 

Statement from Rabbi Hyim Shafner of Kesher Israel Synagogue:

Every American should feel safe in their place of worship, and I am deeply disturbed by increased frequency and intensity of antisemitic incidents targeting our congregation. We thank God no one was seriously hurt, but this event further demonstrates why Jewish people are feeling unsafe in their institutions.

All too often, the burden of protecting ourselves falls to our congregants. We need government and law enforcement to further strengthen their partnerships with Jewish communities, including by providing additional funding for security personnel and infrastructure. And we urge the wider community in joining us in speaking out against these hateful attacks.

Statement from the Jewish Federation: 

“The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington strongly condemns the antisemitic attack at Kesher Israel Congregation in Georgetown and the vandalism at Temple Emanuel in Kensington, MD this weekend. At a time when antisemitism is at an all-time high locally and nationally, we must continue to make it clear that hate of any kind has no place here. Our community’s security remains Federation’s top priority. We are in close contact with local law enforcement, including the Metropolitan Police Department and Montgomery County Police Department, and we appreciate their swift responses to these incidents to ensure our community’s safety. As always, we encourage community members to reach out to local police and [email protected] to report any security incidents or concerns.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

Source: https://www.fox5dc.com/news/man-yelled-antisemitic-remarks-sprayed-unknown-substance-at-2-outside-georgetown-synagogue-police