AVENTURA, FL —An unemployed Florida man was accused Saturday of committing a hate crime following a series of alleged antisemitic incidents that included knocking over a menorah in the lobby of an office building and spouting a hate-filled rant outside a South Florida synagogue. The incidents took place in a quiet suburb of Miami that has a number of Jewish residents.
Thirty-five-year-old Nadim Siddiqui of the 2200 block of Mckinley Street in Hollywood, Forida was charged with criminal mischief 2nd violation evidencing prejudice. He was taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, according to Miami-Dade police.
Subscribe to Miami Patch’s free email news alerts and newsletters
The incidents occurred during the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah and little more than a month since a gunman opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue. Eleven people were killed in the horrific shooting.
Major Michael Bentolila of the Aventura Police Department said earlier Saturday that Siddiqui’s arrest was the result of a “coordinated investigation” with his agency, the Miami-Dade Police Department, Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, FBI Miami and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
“All of the listed agencies will work together to prosecute Mr. Siddiqui to the fullest extent of the law,” Bentolila said.
Aventura police said earlier they received “several inquiries from the public” regarding Siddiqui. But police did not disclose the nature of the inquiries at that time.
“We want to inform the public that the APD is working closely with religious institutions and businesses in our city to advise them of the evolving circumstances,” according to Aventura police.
According to court documents, Siddiqui was caught on video knocking over a menorah in the lobby of the Beacon Tower of Aventura shortly after 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 4. The high-rise office building is located at 20200 W. Dixie Highway.
“As the lobby emptied out, the defendant got up and walked directly over to a menorah located on top of the front desk,” court documents explained. “Once in front of the menorah, the defendant intentionally pushed it over with his right hand, knocking it down, causing two light bulbs to break.”
Click Here: cheap sydney roosters jersey
Police said a nearby Christmas tree was not touched.
From there, Siddiqui allegedly was spotted outside the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center & Tauber Academy about 12 minutes later.
“As the defendant was making his way to the center, he was approached by the security guards. The guards advised the defendant that he cannot enter the center and must leave,” court documents explained. “The defendant became upset and aggressively approached one of the guards and stated ‘I can take your gun’ and ‘six million Jews were not enough.'”
During the encounter, Siddiqui allegedly directed a racial slur toward one of the guards.
Siddiqui was arrested in November for misdemeanor criminal mischief, trespassing and littering in connection with an Oct. 30 incident.
To report a tip call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477) or (866) 471-8477; Visit www.crimestoppersmiami.com and select “Give a Tip” or text “CSMD” followed by the tip information to 274637.
Photo of Nadim Siddiqui courtesy Miami-Dade Police Department