Arrest made in vandalizing of synagogue ahead of Ilana Glazer event

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PROSPECT HEIGHTS -

Police arrested a man who they say scrawled hateful words inside a Prospect Heights synagogue Thursday night.

Police charged James Polite, 26, Friday night with criminal mischief and making graffiti as a hate crime.

Police say the suspect wrote anti-Semitic statements with black marker throughout the building. Officials say the suspect wrote "die Jew rats we are here," "Hitler," and "Jews better be ready."

Polite has also been charged in incidents that occurred Friday at three different locations in the 90th Precinct, one of which was a yeshiva. Polite was charged with numerous offenses, including multiple charges of arson as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and criminal mischief.

Beth Kaiserman, of Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, says she's saddened to see the hate spread.

"It's hard to express how hurtful it was that bad happened in the place where we grew up and where we always felt so safe around our Jewish community,” she says.

Kaiserman says people in Brooklyn need to follow her hometown community's lead: “What you have to do is live your life and move forward. You can’t live your life in fear.”

The vandal struck right before "Broad City" star Ilana Glazer was scheduled to host a political event at Union Temple on Thursday night. Police say the messages were found around 8 p.m. Thursday, but they believe they were written around 6 p.m. The event had to be canceled.

The suspect was admitted to Woodhull Hospital as an emotionally disturbed person for psychiatric observation.

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