Authorities Arrest Teen In Rutherford Synagogue Firebomb Attack

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Authorities arrested a New Jersey teen Tuesday following their investigation into the firebombing of a Rutherford synagogue earlier this month.  His father, however, said he doesn’t think his son did it or if he did he was “coerced.”

Nineteen-year-old Anthony Graziano of Lodi was charged with nine counts of first-degree attempted murder, one count of first-degree bias intimidation and one count of first-degree aggravated arson for the Jan. 11 attack in Rutherford.

Graziano also faces arson and bias charges related to a similar incident in Paramus, an attack on Temple K’Hal Adath Jeshrun on Jan. 3.

“I’ve been crying all day. I don’t know what to say, what to do,” said Graziano’s father, whose name is also Anthony.

Investigators said they found Google searches of both temples. Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli described the Hasbrouck Heights High School grad as an unemployed loner, who was obsessed with Xbox and had a brewing hatred for Jews.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg Hears From The Bergen County Prosecutor

“We have no doubt that the arson and the attempted murder in Rutherford were directly the result of Mr. Graziano’s hatred for people of Jewish faith,” Molinelli told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

“He does not hate Jewish people,” Graziano’s father told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey. “I don’t care what the prosecutor says. I know my son.”

However, a classmate of Graziano told Hennessey: “For the past two months he’s been talking about how much he hates Jews because they were going to take over the country. This kid is crazy. He’s insane.”

The arrest comes just days after the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office released video of a “person of interest” sought in the investigation into the firebombing. Investigators say surveillance video shows him leaving a Walmart on Route 46 in Saddle Brook after buying materials to make Molotov cocktails.

It was that video that authorities said had multiple tipsters calling in and that eventually led to Graziano’s arrest.

Molinelli said a receipt was found showing a purchase for duct tape, three cans of Suave aerosol spray, Crush soda bottles and low-grade motor oil. Molinelli said members of his department and police canvassed stores on the day of the attack looking into their databases before coming across the video.

Molinelli said the big break came when law enforcement officials linked all of the firebomb ingredients to the Saddle Brook Walmart, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported.

WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell with more on the arrest.

“Our ability to track down a store that sold not just the Crush bottles, but duct tape, the same type of aerosol hairspray used and motor oil,” Molinelli said.

“It’s disturbing that a hate monger like Graziano was living in Bergen County right in our midst. The arrest shows this won’t be tolerated,” Etzion Neuer, of the Anti-Defamation League, told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

Synagogue Fireboming Person of Interest at Walmart (credit: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office)

Synagogue Fireboming Person of Interest at Walmart (credit: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office)

“He’s my blood and I don’t know what happened. He just, I have no idea. I’m just, I’m like flabbergasted,” said Graziano’s father.

Several Molotov cocktails were hurled at Rabbi Nossom Schuman and his family inside Congregation Beth El. One landed on the rabbi’s bed.

possiblesynagoguefirebomber2 Authorities Arrest Teen In Rutherford Synagogue Firebomb Attack

(credit: Bergen County Prosecutor's Office)

“We don’t have to worry about being bombed and we still have to work on understanding each other and getting along better but I think this fear of attack is off our shoulders,” Rabbi Schuman told 1010 WINS following news of the arrest.

The Rutherford attack is one of four in Bergen County in the past few months.

Police say Graziano is the man who was seen wearing knit cap and riding a bike in the images released last week. Sources told Sloan last week the camouflage backpack he’s carrying is not military issued but a bag given out by recruiters. It’s what he put the Molotov-making items in before riding off.

“I don’t think he was the member of the ‘A’ team considering the minimal damage that was done,” Rabbi Schuman said.

The rabbi also said through the goodwill of the public they’ve raised enough money to put up surveillance cameras at his temple.

Graziano is being held on $5 million bail.

Sound off in our comments section below. …

  • Milton Vanilly

    For those who don’t know, Graziano is a Jewish-Italian name. But I see that’s already been pointed out in the comments.

  • LG

    Good detective work. NY would still be looking for a suspect.

  • AJ Weberman

    You can see from his facebook page he was big Ron Paul supporters

  • lodi town

    ant you were a good baseball player idk where you went wrong but you deserve whats comin

  • Domun Ayoobkhan

    He is not too guilty as anyone may think.

  • ConcernedCitizen

    “I don’t think he was the member of the ‘A’ team considering the minimal damage that was done,” Rabbi Schuman said.

    Stupid question, but what is the “A-Team” in the context of these attacks?

  • Noah Avram

    Here is a Jewish Graziano to go with my comment

    • Peter O

      He sure looks like a jew to me

  • Noah Avram

    I thought I was the only one who knew this asshole is descended from Italian Jews. Hell, look at that Sephardic face. Christianity stripped him of his Jewish roots during the inquisition and created another Psycho unaware he is trying to kill his own people.

  • Jim stervo

    What do you expect from an italian-mobster mentality.

  • Howard Camner

    Why is there any bail at all? He’s a nutcase. Put him in a cage where he can munch cement with the boys.


      I love it Howars, MUNCH CEMENT!!!!! LOL

  • Randy Wilson

    Its no shock to learn that Graziano is a supporter of noted anti semitic loon Ron Paul. Birds of a feather, flock together.


      What makes you think this POS can even spell Ron Paul?

  • Michael Winder

    heres your 15 mins enjoy your next 30 yrs inside

  • Derp

    This guy isn’t Muslim he is just dumb/paranoid, bad mix. This guy was talking about reptilian jews trying to kill him with ricin etc…

  • Jefferson Davis

    This Muslim pig needs his bare ass horsewhipped Confederate style.

    • KPMc

      Anthony Graziano? From that you got Muslim?

      My guess is he went to Our Lady of Eternal Hate where he was molested by Father Feelup while being told to repent his sins and fear the christian god.

      But that’s just the book I choose to judge based on it’s cover!

  • Camel Shtooper

    Mohammed why does everybody despise muzzies? Hmmmmmmmm guess cuase they blow stuff up Moohammad

  • Kate

    I swear he was the guy selling stuff on Craigslist a couple weeks ago. He had a camera up with his name and phone number.

    • royallen

      and his phone number was 1-800-thetorch

  • royallen

    A son every parent would be proud off…………NOT!

  • Bman

    Wow! THats a sic F&%k!

    Done ! HE’ll be goin away for a while …………

  • royallen


  • A "Going Postal" Worker

    Mohammed and Caleb – you are both retarded!

    Maybe almost as dumb as that Graziano character.

  • the bandid

    no need for a bullet, bring him to me after dark and i will use my jungle knife, very effective and quiet

    • E

      I like your style The Bandit!!!

  • E Dawg

    Anthony Graziano – Like done. But pirate for good- Never getting out.

    This guy is just plain dumb.

    I.Q. 70-80

    Too bad our tax dollars have to pay his way in prison for the rest of his natural life.

    One bullet, say a 22 = 4 cents. Still a waste of money, but worth it.

  • Peter

    Wrap a towel around his head, dip him in gasoline and light. No trial needed.

  • KarenFern

    Murderous hatred is frightening. More frightening is the internal turmoil that begets such murderous hatred. It does not come form the Jews. They are merely the targeted population. I doubt if he has an articulated anti-Semitism. It is more likely that the Jews mean something to him that he hates. I dare not speculate. He needs to be held accountable and I hope he is also studied. There are more of him out there.

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