Deputies searching for man who vandalized 2 Jewish temples in Sarasota

Sarasota County

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is currently searching for a man who vandalized two Jewish temples overnight in Sarasota.

Deputies say between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Wednesday, the suspect can be seen on surveillance video first walking onto the grounds of Temple Emanu-El, located at 151 McIntosh Road. A little while later, the same suspect was seen at Temple Sinai, located at 4631 South Lockwood Ridge Road.

At both locations, deputies say the man spray-painted multiple swastikas and other graffiti causing thousands of dollars in damage, according to the sheriff’s office.

“It is a violation of not only your home but it is a violation of your spirit and your soul,” said Howard Tevlowitz, the CEO Jewish Federation of Sarasota. “There’s no place for hate here, no place whatsoever.”

Deputies describe the suspect as a white male in his 20s or 30s, approximately 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 2 inches tall, with dark hair and a thin build.

During both incidents overnight, the man was wearing a blue baseball cap, dark long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, and gray athletic shoes. His face was also covered with a red bandana.

“That person is full of hate and it is really a very sad situation in this country right now where we have so much, so much in this country yet people are so consumed by hate for one another,” said Ellyn Bender, the president of Temple Sinai.

Deputies say a similar incident happened on April 2 at Temple Emanu-El. 

If you have any information related to these incidents or the suspect involved is asked to contact the SCSO Criminal Investigations Section at 941-861-4900 or 941-861-4928.


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