A 33-year-old man broke into a Yeshiva University dorm in New York City early Friday and used matches intended for a Hanukkah menorah to set three fires in the building while students were sleeping, city Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said.
Peter Weyand was charged with arson, burglary with criminal intent, reckless endangerment of property, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and aggravated harassment, Nigro said.
Firefighters responded quickly to the university’s Schottenstein Residence and put the fires out, Nigro said. Nobody was injured.
“Attacking any religious institution is a serious crime and we have zero tolerance for acts of arson in this city,” Nigro said. “Thanks to the thorough investigative work of our Fire Marshals, a dangerous individual has been quickly apprehended.”
A man can be seen on video entering the dormitory after kicking in a portion of a glass door.
Yeshiva University was founded as a Jewish university in 1886 in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, according to its website. It now has four campuses throughout New York City. US News and World Report reported its enrollment in 2018 at just shy of 6,000 students between undergraduate and graduate programs.