SPD Investigating a Crime of Malicious Harassment

Ofc. John O'Brien, PIO

Monday, February 8, 2021 at 3:37 p.m.

Update 2/18/21:

SPD makes an arrest in the vandalism of Temple Beth Shalom in south Spokane, suspect is charged with a hate crime

At 10:05am on Thursday February 18, SPD officers arrested 44 year old Raymond Bryant in connection with the February 8th defacing of Temple Beth Shalom.  Detectives executed a search warrant for Bryant’s home in Airway Heights with the assistance of Airway Heights PD and developed probable cause to arrest him.

Bryant is charged with malicious mischief 2nd and malicious harassment, both class C felonies, for spray painting swastikas on the synagogue and defacing a Holocaust Memorial in the early morning hours of February 8th.  Additionally, Bryant claimed responsibility for distributing anti-Semitic flyers at the front door of a local TV station and in neighborhoods several days after the vandalism at Temple Beth Shalom.  

Bryant is being held in the Spokane County Jail. The investigation is ongoing.

Original Release 2/8/21:

The Spokane Police Department (SPD) is investigating a crime of Malicious Harassment after swastikas were painted on the Temple Beth Shalom in South Spokane.

This morning, February 8, 2021, around 9:20 a.m., a report was received that the Temple Beth Shalom had been spray painted with anti-Semitic graffiti. Officers arrived on scene and found one side of the building, along with a Holocaust memorial, damaged.

Officers spoke to employees, canvased the neighborhood for surveillance cameras and looked for discarded evidence. Paint samples were collected from the building for evidence.

The synagogue’s camera system captured images of a lone white, male suspect.  The male was wearing blue jeans, black boots, a dark colored jacket with hood, a dark colored beanie style stocking cap, black gloves, a red mask and sunglasses on his head.

The Revised Code of Washington’s definition of a hate crime includes:  Defaces religious real property with words, symbols, or items that are derogatory to persons of the faith associated with the property.

Chief Meidl stated, “This action is reprehensible. There is no place for hate-mongering in our community. SPD takes this crime very seriously and is committed to doing everything possible to arrest the person or persons responsible. We will always stand with those who are the target of hate and bigotry.”

If you have any information that would assist in the investigation, we encourage you to call Crime Check and (509) 456-2233 and reference incident #2021-20021312.

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