Drunk­man in shul is ar­rested

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY BERNARD JOSEPHS

FRI­DAY-NIGHT WOR­SHIP­PERS at Stam­ford Hill’s strictly Ortho­dox Viznitz Syn­a­gogue could hardly be­lieve their eyes last week when a drunken Pol­ish man stag­gered into the build­ing and dis­rupted their prayers. Some were con­cerned that he had shouted “Heil Hitler”, while oth­ers con­sid­ered that he in fact had bel­lowed “Hal­lelu­jah” be­fore run­ning back out to the street. What­ever his cho­sen greet­ing, the man was ar­rested.

“In ei­ther case he was clearly so drunk that he didn’t know what he was say­ing or shout­ing,” said a syn­a­gogue mem­ber, who de­clined to be named. “I don’t think it was racism or re­li­gious fer­vour that made him do it. It was prob­a­bly vodka.”

Po­lice agreed. A spokesper­son told the JC that the man, aged 32, was taken into cus­tody at Stoke New­ing­ton po­lice sta­tion. “He had been drunk and rowdy but his be­hav­iour was not per­ceived to be racially mo­ti­vated by those who wit­nessed it.

“The sus­pect was re­leased from po­lice cus­tody the next day and of­fi­cers from Hack­ney Po­lice’s Com­mu­nity Safety Unit vis­ited the syn­a­gogue mem­ber who had called po­lice to ob­tain a state­ment. Be­ing the Sab­bath, the in­for­mant was at the syn­a­gogue and un­avail­able; how­ever, of­fi­cers spoke to his wife who had been present.

“The in­for­mant’s wife told po­lice that whilst in the street the sus­pect had his arms out­stretched and was shout­ing, ‘God bless you all’.”

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