(JTA) – A suburban Washington teenager reportedly has confessed to police that he vandalized a local synagogue.
Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza, 18, told detectives this week in Gaithersburg, Maryland, that he carried out the April 7 attack on the Shaare Torah Synagogue because he disliked the Jewish people who worshipped there, WTOP radio reported.
Espinoza-Carranza painted swastikas and other racist graffiti on the walls of the Conservative synagogue, according to WTOP, which cited law enforcement sources familiar with the case. He was charged under the state’s hate crimes law.
The teen was identified from a surveillance video taken at a 7-Eleven near the synagogue in which he appeared before and after the vandalism, according to the report.
The vandalism occurred hours after Mayor Jud Ashman at a City Council meeting proclaimed April 12-19 as Days of Remembrance in Gaithersburg, a city located 26 miles northwest of Washington. April 16 is Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day.