Newton police charge Boston man with two antisemitic crimes in Newton

Newton police have arrested a suspect in connection with vandalism at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Boston, according to a statement issued by the department on Thursday night.

On May 21, at just before 6 p.m., Newton police were alerted about a man tearing down blue ribbons from trees at the Jewish Community Charged him with

Police found the suspect, Alexei Rodriguez, 49, from Boston, and charged him with defacing property to intimidate as well as larceny.

After further investigation, officers identified the man as the suspect in a motor vehicle harassment incident on April 30.

“On that date, the suspect is alleged to have driven to Newton in a white SUV in order to harass and intimidate Jewish community members walking in the area,” the statement continues.

Police got an arrest warrant and charged the suspect with assault for the purpose of intimidation, assault with a dangerous weapon and violation of constitutional rights.

The suspect is set to be arraigned in Newton District Court.

Newton police have reported an increase in hate crimes over the past couple of years, with the majority being antisemitic in nature, especially over the past several months since the Oct. 7 terrorist attack against Israel and subsequent Israeli military operation in Gaza.