Drunkman in shul is arrested
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’.”