Passaic County Man Arrested for Attempt to Firebomb Synagogue
Today, a man from Passaic County, New Jersey was arrested for trying to burn down a synagogue in Essex County, New Jersey.
Nicholas Malindretos, age 26 and from Clifton, New Jersey, has been charged with trying to set fire to a building used for interstate business. He is due in federal court in Newark today, February 2nd, 2023 for his initial hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
On Jan. 29, 2023, at 03:19 a.m., a surveillance camera at the Temple Ner Tamid Jewish Congregation in Bloomfield, New Jersey, recorded a person later identified as Malindretos as he approached the temple. He was wearing a black ski mask, a black or dark gray hooded sweatshirt with a white emblem of what appeared to be a skull and crossbones, black pants, dark shoes, and white gloves. Malindretos was caught on video approaching the entrance of a temple, lighting a wick on top of a bottle, and throwing it at the glass doors before running away.
A license plate reading device located nearby recorded a vehicle passing by shortly before and after the incident. Law enforcement officers located the vehicle in Clifton and saw several items consistent with the video of the incident plainly visible inside. They obtained a search warrant for the vehicle. Video cameras in the area captured the vehicle parking and a male individual with the same physical characteristics as Malindretos exiting the vehicle and entering a nearby building.
The count of attempted use of fire to damage and destroy a building used in interstate commerce is punishable by a minimum of five years in prison, a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000.