LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A 24-year-old Pennsylvania man who authorities said fled to Hawaii after vandalizing a Beverly Hills synagogue earlier this month was arraigned on hate crime charges Monday.

Surveillance photo of a man who allegedly broke into the Nessah Synagogue on Dec. 14, 2019, and vandalized it. (Beverly Hills PD)

Anton Nathaniel Redding of Millersville, Penn., plead not guilty in Los Angeles County Superior Court to one count each of vandalism of religious property and second degree burglary, along with a penalty enhancement for a hate crime, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office reports.

In the early morning hours of Dec. 14, Beverly Hills police reported that a man broke into the Nessah Synagogue, located at 142 S Rexford Dr., flipped over furniture and damaged several Jewish relics, among other property. He was caught on camera leaving the synagogue, wheeling a suitcase behind him.

The synagogue’s main scrolls survived.

The Nessah Synagogue. Dec. 14, 2019. (CBS2)

On Dec. 18, Redding was taken into custody in Kona, Hawaii after he was identified as the suspect using forensic evidence and surveillance video. He was later extradited back to L.A. Prosecutors allege that after vandalizing the synagogue, he had gone to L.A. International Airport, where he board a flight to the island.

Redding faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison if convicted as charged. His bail was set at $250,000.

Meanwhile, a second man, identified as 44-year-old Israel Herrera Perez, was arrested last week, accused of spray-painting three Jewish schools in West L.A., along with dozens of cars in both West L.A. and Calabasas.

All the crimes occurred between Dec. 14 and Dec. 16, the LAPD said.

There was no word from investigators that there was any connection between Perez and Redding.


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