SANTA MONICA (AP) — Authorities have reportedly apprehended the homeless man suspected of setting off a homemade explosive device next to a Santa Monica Jewish center in Cleveland.

KNX 1070’s John Brooks Reports

A man thought to be Ron Hirsch, 60, was taken into custody in suburban Cleveland Heights Monday evening after a concerned citizen who came into contact with him called police, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller in Los Angeles said.

She said the FBI was working with local authorities to confirm the man’s identity and had no immediate details of the arrest.

“It’s believed to be him but, just as in any arrest scenario, a formal identification must be made,” Eimiller said.

Investigators believed Hirsch boarded a New York-bound Greyhound bus the day of last Thursday’s blast near Chabad House Lubavitch of Santa Monica.

hirsch at bus station FBI Nabs Synagogue Blast Suspect In Cleveland

Ron Hirsch boarded a Greyhound bus Thursday, the same day as the explosion outside the Santa Monica synagogue, the FBI reported. Authorities said Hirsch purchased a Greyhound bus ticket to New York, where he is believed to have family, but was later found in the Cleveland area. (credit: CBS)

Hirsch is believed to have family in New York. However, video surveillance captured him getting off the bus in Denver, going to the ticket counter and then boarding another eastbound bus, FBI spokesman Dave Joly in Denver said.

Authorities considered him dangerous based on his suspected involvement in the explosion.

Hirsch, a transient known to spend time at synagogues and other Jewish community centers seeking charity, is wanted on state charges of possession of a destructive device and unrelated local charges.

The explosion shattered windows and punched a hole in the synagogue, while sending chunks of concrete and a heavy pipe crashing into the roof of a nearby house.

Authorities said a child was sleeping almost underneath where the device landed.

Authorities initially believed it was an industrial accident, but they now say the device was deliberately constructed and items found at the scene were linked to Hirsch.

Investigators do not have a motive for the blast. Jewish groups have said they did not believe anti-Semitism was necessarily behind it.

Police stepped up patrols at Chabad House and other houses of worship over the weekend after naming Hirsch as a suspect.

“If he did it, he’s not here no more. He’s not coming back,” Rabbi Eli Levitansky said. “If he didn’t do it, the security here is … more than it was just a couple days ago.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (24)
  1. Enrique "RIcky" Garcia says:

    I didn’t realize there was such a thing as Jewish homeless.

    1. nek says:

      Yep that name Ricky Garcia sounds Jewish to me.

  2. HOWARD SHORE says:





    PROUD 100% JEW

    1. James says:

      Well, judging from your defensiveness, I’d believe you’re Jewish. FYI, I’m Jewish as well; my mother is Jewish, which makes me Jewish, but I’m not as defensive or quick to take offense as you are, Mr. Shore.

    2. Michael J. McDermott says:

      Boys, boys…. Judging by his comment he is probably only about 10 years old so let’s “consider the source”. OK?
      (Re: “remark” made by Enrique “RIcky” Garcia)

    3. Alex C says:

      So what? I am 100% Jewish but with all due respect “Jewish homeless” sounds funny to my sensitive ear

  3. Betty Horowitz Shore says:

    Honey, please take your meds. You’re acting crazy again.

  4. lala63 says:

    Well Mr. Shore, Hirsch is usually a Jewish last name … just sayin’. Maybe that is why Mr. Garcia made the assuption that the perp is Jewish. But I understand …Mr. Garcia may not be hispanic (I could just be assuming that by his last name).

  5. MW64 says:

    I have photos of Mr. Hirsch and one other homeless man who attacked me back in November. They hung out together as late as two weeks ago near the corner of Lincoln and Pacific in Santa Monica. Hirsch certainly has vanished. The other homeless man still hangs out here. If KCAL wants those pics, contact me at the listed email address. I did already report this to the Santa Monica Police Dept. For reporting purposes, I do wish to remain anonymous.

  6. Homeless Jewish Bomber says:

    What does a 100% jew mean? Probably not even a jewish. Had any attention lately? Normal people can read without you typing caps…..

  7. First Response says:

    Santa Monica Jewish center in Cleveland????

  8. ya sure says:

    A “homeless” man is accused of setting off a “homemade” bomb. LOL

  9. Get Shorty says:

    Midget little Elf.

  10. Jewish Midget? says:

    i haven’t met a Jewish midget in my life before. Didn’t know they exists. He probably hangout with too many California Mexicans or have too many Mexican friends.

    You are what you eat.

  11. ILLEGALS says:

    Why did they circled him in the video? I’m sure we can distinguish him from his mug shot. And he’s obviously not the other person with gorilla hair & the size of a buffalo.

  12. Lis says:

    Happy to hear he was caught. As for this article, there are so many grammar and mechanics issues it made my head hurt. Plus side: the line that a homeless man made a homemade bomb. That sure did make me giggle =)

  13. Bean Lover says:

    Santa Monica Jewish center in Cleveland? Sorta like Hollywood Florida?

  14. Rich Mexican MD says:

    Terrorist is a word not limited to Muslims

  15. Big Pete says:

    Glad they caught him before he fled back to Israel. They don’t extradite so it’s a safe haven for Zionist criminals.

  16. Sleeper says:

    I would like to point out one thing in this story along with many others and that being the word or words Anti-Semite. The word Semite refers to a larger group of people including Hebrews but not only them. If you refer to this page here on wikipedia you will see this “The term Semite means a member of any of various ancient and modern Semitic-speaking peoples originating in southwestern Asia, including Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, Arabs, and Ethiopian Semites”

    So as you can see the term you are using is for all that are listed and not a singularly Hebrew identifying term.

    And before someone says historically it is a term related to hebrews please read this.
    I am by no means trying to redefine terms just go off the base of the root term and true meaning. If someone says they hate the french, english, germans, Americans, arabs so on and so forth, they are just left alone. We dont need an additional term to identify them as a hater of said group. In the case of one who may hate hebrews though a special new term is made up concealing its true root reason and meaning. Why can’t they just be allowed to hate this group like the haters of the french, english, germans, Americans, etc.? This also segregates hate instead of placing it where it belongs in the garbage.

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