LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A self-proclaimed skinhead from the Southland accused of plotting to blow up a Colorado synagogue is recorded committing a lewd act outside a synagogue in Thousand Oaks, police say.
Police say a video recorded by Richard Holzer shows him urinating on the front door of what was the Chabad of Thousand Oaks. The temple has since moved.
Tom Wait spoke with the temple’s rabbi, who was stunned when he learned Holzer was the same man arrested in Colorado for plotting to bomb a temple there.
Rabbi Chaim Bryski says a Ventura County detective alerted him last year about Holzer after the detective found the video on Holzer’s social media.
“It was very very ironic and creepy,” Bryski said. “We never smelled anything … never noticed anything. We only knew about it because police told us it happened.”
Detectives here were monitoring Holzer after they were alerted to hate speech he was posting online. Holzer moved away before Ventura County deputies could question him.
Then came the news this week that Holzer was planning to blow up a synagogue in Pueblo, Colorado. The plan was to bomb it early Saturday morning but undercover FBI agents say they stopped the plot.
According to court documents, Holzer was reportedly animated, displayed a Nazi armband and removed a knife, a mask and a copy of “Mein Kampf” from a backpack when he met with undercover agents in a motel room last Friday. The undercover agents gave him two fake pipe bombs and 14 sticks of bogus dynamite. Shortly after, he was arrested.
Rabbi Bryski says it’s chilling how his synagogue was once one of Holzer’s targets.
“That’s really hit home … [I’m] just so grateful that this is the opposite … [he was] caught before anything could happen,” he said.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department says they do not have any evidence any other sites were targeted by Holzer, who could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.