Miami Beach Police announced Tuesday night they had made an arrest in the vandalism of a local temple earlier in the day.
Police said a homeless man named Maximo Delacruz-De Jesus was identified through fingerprints and witness identifications. Delacruz-De Jesus was charged with criminal mischief for the vandalism of the temple wall that featured messages of “KKK” and swastikas.
He was being held without bond on a warrant case Wednesday and it was unknown whether he has an attorney.
The messages were found written in pen or marker on a banner outside Temple Emanu-El Synagogue at 1701 Washington Avenue.
"All out war!" and other messages were also on the banner.
"The motive is hatred. We need to find out who this person is," said Rabbi Marc Philippe.
According to a Miami Beach Police report, a witness called 911 after spotting a suspect outside the temple just before 3 a.m. Officers responded and searched the area but didn't find the suspect
Richard Lehrman, grandson of Rabbi Irving Lehman, who led the congregation for 50 years, said he's glad his grandfather is not around to see the vandalism.
"If I had a tenth of his wisdom, I would realize that it may be just the work of one deranged person," Lehrman said.
On Monday, a swastika and the words "Iraq" and "Hamas" were found painted on a wall at Temple Beth Tov-Ahavat Shalo at 6438 Southwest 8th Street.
Four anti-Semitic incidents have been reported in less than two months in South Florida. In late July, the columns outside a North Miami Beach synagogue were defaced with red spray paint. Swastikas and the words “Hamas” framed the front entrance.
The weekend before the North Miami Beach incident, a Miami Beach home was targeted. One car was egged in multiple places and another was damaged by cream cheese. The words “Jew” and “Hamas” were smeared in two different areas.