Suspect arrested in synagogue fire bombing

Anthony M. Graziano, of Lodi

January 24, 2012 2:05:33 PM PST
Authorities have arrested a suspect in the Rutherford temple fire bombing.

Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said investigators arrested 19 year old Anthony M. Graziano of Lodi, New Jersey in connection with the January 11 attempted murder of Rabbi Neil Schuman and his family and the associated firebombing of the Rutherford synagogue.

Graziano was described as an anti-Semite who intended to cause harm.

Molinelli said Tuesday that investigators believe Anthony Graziano of Lodi knew there were people inside when he threw Molotov cocktails into a Rutherford synagogue building that also houses the rabbi's family.

Molinelli says Graziano rode a bike to the synagogue, and one of the first firebombs he threw into the building landed in the rabbi's second-floor bedroom while the family was asleep.

Graziano has also been charged with the January 3, 2012, arson and firebombing of the Temple K'Hal Adath Jeshrun of Paramus.

The arrest comes after the prosecutor's office released a video of a person of interest last Friday.

On Monday, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office Major Crimes Unit received a number of tips regarding the identity of the individual captured on the store surveillance tape purchasing a number of components of the incendiary device used in the Rutherford attack.

Those tips led police to Graziano at his Lodi home. Detectives interviewed Graziano, as well as numerous relatives and friends.

Authorities said they recovered evidence while executing a search warrant at the home.

Graziano has been charged with nine counts of first degree attempted murder, one count of first degree Bias Intimidation and one count of first degree Aggravated Arson for the Rutherford incident.

He has been charged with first degree Aggravated Arson, first degree Bias Intimidation and third degree Arson for the Paramus incident. Bail was set at $5,000,000 with no 10% option.


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