Cape man charged in brick-throwing incident at Chabad Jewish Center
An arrest has been made in what police are calling a hate crime against a Cape Coral temple last month.
Maron Raymon, 51, was arrested on Thursday in connection to a brick-throwing incident at Chabad Jewish Center on March 11, said Cape Coral Police Department Chief Anthony Sizemore in a press conference held this morning.
Raymon has been charged with attempted burglary, criminal mischief to a place of worship and, due to the criminal act being a targeted incident directed at the Jewish Center, it meets the legal requirements of a hate crime, or evidencing prejudice while committing an offense, Sizemore said.
“Since (the incident occurred)…this case was priority No. 1,” Sizemore said. “That went for not only the Major Crimes Unit, but all of our investigate units, our forensics team, all the way down to our patrol officers. Everyone was focused on bringing this individual to justice, and we’ve done that.”
Sizemore said since the incident, the department has worked tirelessly to find the individual responsible for the attack, as there was not much to go off of in terms of camera footage.
“This was a very challenging case, because unlike other cases, the video evidence we have was not supreme, and it really required a lot of boots on the ground,” Sizemore said. “Through that, we developed persons of interest, ran down leads of many, many vehicles that might meet the description, served numbers search warrants, and it culminated (Thursday) when the extremely hard work of our detectives, our forensics personnel, and the work of our patrol officers on the street came together.”
Sizemore said the department had a solid tip and witness linked to the case that helped put together what he called “holes” in Raymon’s story from their initial encounter, where Sizemore also said Raymon lied to them.
“We were able to establish probable cause and arrested,” Sizemore said.
Raymon was interviewed “extensively” on Thursday by CCPD and FBI partners to determine whether he is part of a bigger network of extremists.
“That part of the investigation is still ongoing to see if there are any other links to extremist groups or if this was a lone wolf actor,” Sizemore said.
Chabad Jewish Center of Cape Coral Rabbi Yossi Labkowski, who was at the press conference, told The Breeze in March that in broad daylight around 1:15 p.m. on March 11, an individual threw bricks at the temple on Cape Coral Parkway, frightening those inside. He said while the service for the day was finished, there were still people inside the temple. He went to approach the door after hearing the loud sounds and saw a white male picking up bricks and throwing them at the door. The situation went on for more than 5 minutes, and Labkowski is thankful the glass did not give. Bricks were also hurled at cars in the parking lot.
Sizemore said he’s pleased to see the community come together in support of Shalom and reminded Cape residents these types of acts can, in fact, occur here.
“I’m very pleased with the attitude of our department and our community, that we came together,” Sizemore said. “We realized that this was a horrific act that shook the confidence and the core of our community. ‘This doesn’t happen in Cape Coral.’ But we can’t say anymore, and that’s pretty much with any type of a crime.”