Rutherford Synagogue Firebomb Suspect May Have Tried To Buy Weapons Before Arrest

Authorities To Sweep All Synagogues Within A 10 Mile Radius Of Anthony Graziano's Home

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The New Jersey teenager accused of allegedly trying to kill a rabbi and his family in a firebomb attack at a Bergen County synagogue pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

Anthony Graziano, 19, is charged with nine counts of first-degree attempted murder as well as bias intimidation and aggravated arson. Graziano appeared in court wearing shackles and showing no emotion.

“This is still America, he’s not guilty until he’s proven guilty,” said Graziano’s public defender Robert Kalisch.

Earlier Wednesday, CBS 2 learned that Graziano may have been planning even more mayhem. Graziano had a gun purchaser identification card that allows people under 21 to buy a shotgun or rifle for hunting. Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli confirmed that saying Graziano did, in fact, possess a gun purchasing identification.

“Someone like Mr. Graziano, let’s just say it’s probably best we did make the arrest when we did,” Molinelli told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.

Reliable sources told CBS 2 Graziano may have tried to purchase weapons but was arrested before he could.

Local authorities are also using dogs to sweep all Bergen County synagogues within a ten mile radius of Graziano’s home for flammables and accelerants. Molinelli called the sweep precautionary, and said they’ll take place over the next two days.  Those searches will also continue Thursday, bringing a relief to those in the community.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney On The Story

Police released surveillance video of a person of interest last week and after several tips and a search of Graziano’s home, police arrested him.

Prosecutors say the video was the clue they needed to find and arrest Graziano for the attempted murder of Rabbi Nossom Schuman and his family inside Congregation Beth El. They say Graziano used a computer search program to find synagogues close enough to his home so he could ride his bicycle to stage the attacks.

“The arson and attempted murder in Rutherford are directly the result of Mr. Graziano’s hatred of people of the Jewish faith,” Molinelli said Tuesday.

Quick police work led detectives to their suspect. The day of the fiery attack, they canvassed stores that sold all of the items used to make Molotov cocktails and say the surveillance video shows Graziano buying a six-pack of sodas. Officials say six Molotov cocktails were thrown at the Rutherford temple and one landed on the rabbi’s bed.

“I’ve been crying all day,” the suspect’s father Anthony Graziano said Tuesday night. “I don’t know what to do, what to say, what to do.”

Graziano’s father says his Catholic-raised son does not harbor any hate and told Hennessey on Wednesday that his son was not “mentally capable” of such acts and that he wants him evaluated.

“He does not hate Jewish people,” he said.

But some of Graziano’s friends disagree. One, who did not want to be identified, told CBS 2 “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.”

He is being held on $5 million bail with no option to post 10-percent to a bail bondsman. Kalisch said he will ask for lower bail and a change of venue due to all of the publicity.

Please share your thoughts below…

  • Ann Onymoustein

    Graziano’s attorney appears to have a Jewish name — if that’s the case, will he be able to wholeheartedly give the accused the proper defense he deserves? An odd choice to have a Jewish lawyer defend an accused anti-semite.

  • candle0812

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  • stan

    learn the history of the nba and then rethink your post. the first knicks team was primarily jewish and the first goal ever scored in the nba was by a jew, ozzie schectman.

  • Big Lion

    Ron Paul is a neo Nazi by way of the Lyndon Larouche Libertarian nutjobs..
    I guess he also campaigns against legal abortion so he too
    will have to exterminate people to help with the overpopulation.
    The idiot’s like Graziano,would be brown shirts for Hitler.
    Jews always get the blame from little impodent people who feel
    really small and powerless. Hate gives then a reason to try out
    their psychosis, Thank God most people have love in their hearts.

  • Ron Paul 2012

    People who want to save America support Ron Paul, and sorry to say, If that means we cut money to some contries like Isreal, you should not denounce the good man.

    That’s cheap and Low.

  • Grow the F**k up

    So some 19 year old asshole speaks for America Really?
    Bernake is a Zionist S**mbag, The FED feeds off of America like a vampire bat feeds off of catle at night, The main difference here is the cattle’s farm does not result in economic collapse, with an insolvent economy and worthless currency.

  • jerseyjoey

    Ron Paul is a nut case, period. VOTE NEWT and invest in a casino. LOL

  • Practical

    I was wondering what can cause a 19 year old to have such hatred to want to kill people of different backgrounds.Then I read the posted replies and I get a good understanding of how such thoughts can fill a young man’s mind.

  • Count Yob

    The article says he is “charged with nine counts of first degree murder.” Shouldn’t that be corrected to read “attempted” murder?

  • Devino

    So, If I understand this correctly, Ron Paul wants to end welfare to Israel [along with every other country] so you JDL types say he’s a Jew hater? Whose the haters here?

  • Jimmy Fisher

    He is a supporter of Ron Paul. This is a typical tactic of the Ron Paul campaign.

    • Jews for Ron Paul

      Yea because Ron Paul supporters everywhere are fire bombing synagogues. Ron Paul cant give a speech without saying dirty Jews every other minute. Yup.

    • Arkius

      I wonder if he can be helped?

  • Mike Michaels

    He is a paulbot(a follower of noted anti semite nutcase Ron Paul). He was posting ”Ron Paul 2012” on jewish hate sites. I guess you would that the apple doesnt fall far from the tree.

    • Jews for Ron Paul

      Yea Ron Paul cant give a speech without saying ‘dirty Jews’ every other minute. Yup.

  • CT Native

    It appears from news reports that his family is in denial. “He’s a good kid”.
    Amazing how many parents have no idea what their kids are up to.

  • royallen

    I feel sorry for his family,he on the other hand,needs to do some serious prison time,or a long stint in a mental institution

  • A "Going Postal" Worker

    He firebombed peoples’ house of worship? What a useless piece of trash!

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