Po­lice Re­lease New Video of Sus­pected Ar­son­ist of Bk­lyn’s “Mitz­vah Bus”

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By: Max Rozwaski

Fol­low­ing the re­lease of sur­veil­lance footage last week show­ing a pos­si­ble sus­pect in the torch­ing of Brook­lyn’s “mitz­vah bus,” au­thor­i­ties have now re­leased an­other video of the sus­pect. In the sec­ond footage, cap­tured around the same time as the June 26 ar­son, the sus­pect, an African-Amer­i­can male in a black cap and T-shirt, can be seen in­side a store, ac­cord­ing to the NY Post.

Cre­ated a year and a half ago by Crown Heights artist Lev Scheiber, the “mitz­vah bus” was an iconic sight, de­light­ing both chil­dren and adults as it drove past be­decked with vi­brant col­ors and re­li­gious sym­bols while broad­cast­ing Jew­ish mu­sic. The bus gained pop­u­lar­ity beyond the com­mu­nity’s bounds af­ter be­ing fea­tured in a YouTube mu­sic video by singer Benny Fried­man for his song “I’m a Jew and I’m Proud.” The mu­sic video went vi­ral, gar­ner­ing over two and a half mil­lion views on YouTube.

Ac­cord­ing to a June 30 New York Post re­port, the initial sur­veil­lance footage showed the sus­pect (an African-Amer­i­can male) walk­ing in the vicin­ity of Flat­bush’s Troy Av­enue and Maple Street, where the mitz­vah bus was parked at the time. Two hours af­ter the sus­pect was cap­tured on cam­era, the bus was dis­cov­ered in its burned-out state. In­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve the sus­pect smashed the bus’s win­dows be­fore set­ting the in­te­rior on fire and flee­ing on foot.

“I went to the bus to­day and it was com­pletely de­stroyed. My initial re­ac­tion was it was a tar­geted act,” Scheiber said shortly af­ter the in­ci­dent, ac­cord­ing to the For­ward. “It’s a very splashy bus. It’s clearly Jew­ish.”

In a re­port, CBS New York urged those with in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the sus­pect’s where­abouts to con­tact the NYPD Crime Stop­pers Hot­line at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

De­spite the loss of his mitz­vah bus, which dou­bled as Scheiber’s art stu­dio and school trans­porta­tion for his daugh­ters, the artist is not de­terred, and has plans to cre­ate a re­place­ment. The com­mu­nity is chip­ping in, with $4,000 al­ready raised on­line to fund the cre­ation of a new bus.

“It rep­re­sents the Jew­ish spirit and sort of old-school Crown Heights,” Scheiber ex­plained to NBC New York.

Scheiber de­scribed the bus to the New York Post as “a creative project,” one that “rep­re­sented creative ex­pres­sion and the free­dom to be your­self — a sort of good vibe ve­hi­cle that you didn’t see ev­ery day.”

The mitzva bus was cre­ated to in­still Jew­ish pride. Scheiber, along with all in­volved in fund-rais­ing for the new bus, are de­ter­mined that no ar­son­ist or van­dal will be able to si­lence that mes­sage.

Cre­ated a year and a half ago by Crown Heights artist Lev Scheiber, the “mitz­vah bus” was an iconic sight, de­light­ing both chil­dren and adults as it drove past be­decked with vi­brant col­ors and re­li­gious sym­bols while broad­cast­ing Jew­ish mu­sic

Fol­low­ing the re­lease of sur­veil­lance footage last week show­ing a pos­si­ble sus­pect in the torch­ing of Brook­lyn’s “mitz­vah bus,” au­thor­i­ties have now re­leased an­other video of the sus­pect

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.