Police Arrest Suspect in ‘Mitzvah Bus’ Arson

An arrest has been made in connection with the burning of a mini-bus, dubbed the “Mitzvah Bus,” that was torched just over one month ago. The suspect was charged with arson and criminal mischief, but was not charged with a hate crime.

by Sandy Eller – VinNews.com

Just over one month after a Crown Heights “mitzvah bus” was destroyed by arson, the NYPD has announced that it has a suspect in custody.

30 year old Jackson Joseph, of Brownsville, was arrested by the NYPD Monday morning in connection with the incident which took place on June 26th and was charged with arson and criminal mischief. While the bus burning was originally being investigated as a hate crime, law enforcement sources said that there was no evidence of religious bias, prompting the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office not to file any bias-related charges.

As previously reported on VIN News, the brightly painted mini bus was owned by artist Lev Schieber who used the vehicle both for transportation and as a mobile art studio.

Police said that Joseph, who was previously arrested as a teenager, was identified through surveillance video that was released to the public in early July.

Schieber said that he was extremely grateful to the NYPD for its efforts and to all those who brought the incident to the attention of the media While he has yet decide on a design for his next vehicle at this time, he fully intends to create another piece of mobile art.

“It would be nice to bring Mitzvah Bus 2.0 back from the ashes,” Schieber told VIN News.  “The Jewish community always becomes stronger after a setback so I know that something positive will happen here.”

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