Posted: November 05, 2018
By Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
CARY, N.C. —
A North Carolina man is facing charges including ethnic intimidation after he allegedly made threats Saturday night at a synagogue in Cary and burned a cross in a public park last month, according to multiple reports.
Police arrested William Josephus Warden, 20, late Saturday night after a man threatened to damage Congregation Sha’arei Shalom, Cary police Capt. Randall Rhyne told The News & Observer.
The newspaper reported that a man, identified as Warden, rang the doorbell at the synagogue around 10:15 p.m. Saturday. A woman who monitors the doorbell, which is connected to the internet and had a camera, answered, at which time police told WRAL that Warden “made disparaging statements against the Jewish religion and people of the Jewish faith.”
Authorities did not elaborate on the specific threats made. Citing court records, WRAL reported that Warden “was motivated by the recent mass shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue.”
A man opened fire last month at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 people and wounding six others in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history.
While investigating the threat made against Congregation Sha’arei Shalom, officials learned Warden had erected and burned a cross in Bond Park on Oct. 26, The News & Observer reported. The incident was not reported after it happened, according to the newspaper.
Under North Carolina law, people are forbidden from burning crosses on property “without first obtaining written permission of the owner or occupier of the premises,” WNCN reported. Bond Park is owned by the Town of Cary, WRAL reported.
Jail records showed Warden remained jailed Monday on charges of ethnic intimidation and placing and burning a cross without permission.
One week ago, a gunman walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue and opened fire.
Eleven people were killed, several others were hurt and the city was changed forever.
Shabbat started at sundown Friday night, when people of all faiths joined together at Temple Sinai in Squirrel Hill to show solidarity and mourn the lives lost last week.
“We are here not for a memorial service, not for a rally, not for a vigil, but for an act of spiritual resistance,” Rabbi James Gibson said.
In one space, Hindus, Christians, Muslims and so many more were unified with the Jewish community.
Attendees gave a standing ovation to Wasi Mohamed, the executive director of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh and a unifying force since the tragedy hit.
“After that interfaith vigil, we were all feeling at such a low point. Rabbi Gibson embraced me and I’ll never forget that. I actually got that framed,” Mohamed said.
A very special moment was shared between Gibson and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.
“I think it’s important for all of Pittsburgh to be here. We have a situation that is the purest sense of evil and on the first holy day for Shabbat, our Jewish community comes together in order to mourn those they lost, but also to celebrate,” Peduto said.
Friday night's message could be felt across the sanctuary: unity, strength and hope for better days ahead.
“It’s the first time I was able to close my eyes and feel peace the entire week and it was unbelievable and spiritually uplifting,” Squirrel Hill resident Meryl Ainsman said.
On Saturday, the victims were memorialized at a prayer service outside the synagogue, a vigil in White Oak and a "Stronger Than Hate" concert downtown.
Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger will be wearing specially designed "Stronger Than Hate" cleats during Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Steelers tweeted a picture of the cleats, saying, "We are #StrongerThanHate."
Channel 11 sports reporter Chase Williams captured a photo of Roethlisberger in the cleats shortly before the game.
The Ravens also took to social media on Sunday to show their support for Pittsburgh, tweeting a photo that says, "Baltimore Stands With Pittsburgh."
A Vietnam veteran golfing on an Indianapolis course last weekend was stunned when he approached the eighth green. A swastika was carved into the green, along with a racial slur, WXIN reported.
Phil Rossman took some photographs of the defaced green at Smock Golf Course. Since then, the words have been covered with sand. Golf course officials said repairs to the green were necessary, the television station reported.
The swastika continued the disturbing trend of the symbol of hate that has been appearing in Indiana.
“I guess I was a bit shocked to see it in the middle of a golf course," Rossman told WXIN. "But not surprised to see it in society in general.”
The swastika incident occurred the same weekend as a shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue left 11 people dead.
"It's not the physical damage that was done, it’s the psychological damage,” Rossman said. "Anybody that's willing to do such a thing directed at people who may be different than they are, it just bubbles up nothing more, nothing less really, than disgust.”
“We work every day to ensure our customers feel comfortable in our parks and take pride in knowing our staff values the people we serve,” the statement said. “We will not accept any action or activity that goes against welcoming people into our parks and will continue working closely with our park rangers and partners at IMPD (Indianapolis Metro Police Department) to ensure the safety and security of all of our guests.”
The swastika and racial slur may have been misguided pranks, but Rossman believes they should be taken seriously, WXIN reported.
"There’s a cause-and-effect relationship to all this stuff," Rossman told the television station. "If we have people out there doing this, what’s the next step they go to?”
“Hatred and discrimination have no place in Pittsburgh or anywhere else,” the Penguins tweeted Tuesday morning.
The patches and an accompanying jersey auction are part of the organization’s effort to support victims and families of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting, the team said in a news release.
Each player will sign his jersey after the game. They will be available for auction HERE.
The auction started at 11 a.m. Tuesday and continues until Nov. 13 at 12 p.m.
“All proceeds from the jersey auction and the Penguins other fundraising efforts, including tonight's 50/50 Raffle, will benefit the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and a fund established by the City of Pittsburgh Department of Safety to benefit police officers wounded during the attack,” team officials said.
The Penguins are also collecting money at all three entrance gates at Tuesday night’s game.
Sign up below to be added to our mailing list for the latest news, updates, access to exclusive contents, and more!
Take www.kiss104fm.com everywhere you go! Download your app below from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store:
Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!