Religious feud leads to attempted murder charges

May 23, 2011 2:43:30 PM PDT
A teenager is under arrest in an ongoing religious feud in a small, Hasidic village.

It's become so bad, police say attempted murder charges are now involved.

This latest incident happening in New Square.

Yesterday police arrested 18-year-old Shaul Spitzer on charges of attempted murder, arson and first degree assault. Cops say he tried to set the Rottenberg family home on fire and it's a location police are very familiar with.

There is a few instances of broken windows, broken windows in the vehicles owned by Rottenberg," said Chief Peter Brower, Ramapo Police Department.

Investigator say early Sunday morning Aron Rottenberg saw Spitzer on his surveillance cameras as the teen threw a rag soaked with flammable liquid onto the rear porch at his Truman Avenue home. The 43-year-old confronted the teenager and somehow both men caught fire.

Rottenberg suffered third degree burns to 50-percent of his body. Spitzer is also hospitalized with burns to his hands and arm.

No one answered the door at Spitzer's new square home today.

Police and some residents say the attack centers on a simmering feud between the community's grand rabbi and a group of men, including Rottenberg who worship at a nearby senior center and not at the main synagogue.

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