Gaithersburg Teen Charged With Synagogue Vandalism in Gaithersburg (PHOTO)
An 18-year-old from Gaithersburg faces charges in connection with the vandalism at the Shaare Torah Synagogue in the Kentlands area of Gaithersburg.
Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza, 18, of the 16700 block of Sioux Lane, was arrested on April 14 and charged with property damage to a religious institution, defacement of a religious property, and malicious destruction of property over $1,000.
According to a news release, on April 7 at approximately 7:10 a.m., a Montgomery County police officer was traveling in the area of the Shaare Torah synagogue, (located at 1409 Main Street), when the officer was flagged down by a resident who wanted to report a vandalism that had occurred to the religious building. Officers arrived to the scene and observed spray painted swastikas, “KKK”, and other hate-based graffiti on the walls, windows and doors of the synagogue.
Images of two suspects were captured on the synagogue’s surveillance system between 2:40 and 3 a.m. on April 7. Detectives located additional video surveillance of a group of males in their late teens in one of the nearby 24-hour businesses before and after the crime occurred. One of the males in the group appeared to be one of the suspects seen on the synagogue surveillance video. Subsequently, several of the teenage males in the video were identified and interviewed, to include Sebastian David Espinosa-Carranza, according to police.
On April 14 at approximately 11:30 p.m., Espinosa-Carranza met detectives at the 6th District Station for an interview. He was arrested and confessed to the crimes, according to police.
Detectives have identified juvenile suspects in this vandalism and additional charges are anticipated, according to police.
“These kinds of cases are often difficult to solve. I appreciate the tireless detective work by those who investigated this atrocious act. The response to this incident has been loud and clear, and has been heard from nearly every segment of our diverse community. We don’t tolerate hate, and we will not be intimidated by ignorance,” said Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger.
Espinoza-Carranza has been released on bond.
“The City of Gaithersburg and Montgomery County is an inclusive community and one that prides itself on diversity. When such a despicable crime occurs, it impacts the entire community irrespective of religion, race or ethnicity. As such, detectives worked tirelessly to bring this case to a successful resolution and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions,” said Chief Mark Sroka of the Gaithersburg Police Department.
The teen, who was arrested and charged with vandalizing a Gaithersburg synagogue, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, according to court documents. Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza was charged with defacement of religious property, damage to a religious institution, and malicious destruction of property for the antisemitic graffiti found on Shaare Torah Synagogue in Gaithersburg back in April. His sentencing is set […]
It was an emotional interview for Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza at his home in Gaithersburg. The teen was arrested and charged with vandalizing a Gaithersburg synagogue. The 18-year-old teen says he is not a racist person and that he is really sorry. The congregation’s surveillance video helped lead police to Spinoza-Carranza. It shows him allegedly spray painting swastikas, […]
In this MyMCMedia extra video, Montgomery County Corporal Rebecca Innocenti says it was important for detectives to identify the suspects in the vandalism case at the Shaare Torah synagogue as quickly as possible:
In this MyMCMedia extra video, Montgomery County Corporal Rebecca Innocenti explains how detectives used video from a local 7-11 to find the masked suspect(s) in the vandalism case at the Shaare Torah synagogue in Gaithersburg.
In an interview outside his Gaithersburg home today, the 18-year-old charged with vandalism at the Shaare Torah synagogue says he is not a racist person and that he is really sorry. “I want to say that I really regret what I did and I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have done it. … I’m not a […]
From the beginning, video played a key role in the vandalism case at the Shaare Torah synagogue and today Montgomery County Police said it was a video from a nearby business that resulted in the arrest of an 18-year-old suspect. Corporal Rebecca Innocenti answered questions about the arrest of that teen in front of the […]
The mother of the Gaithersburg teen charged with spray painting anti-semitic messages on a Kentlands synagogue says he regrets what he did. Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza, 18, of the 16700 block of Sioux Lane, was arrested on April 14 and charged with property damage to a religious institution, defacement of a religious property, and malicious destruction of […]
In this MyMCMedia extra, Connie Liss, president of the Shaare Torah Synagogue talks about arrest of a Gaithersburg teen for defacing the building on Main Street. Liss warns against complacency: Related coverage:
A man is under arrest this morning in connection with the vandalism of the Shaare Torah Synagogue on Main Street in Gaithersburg. Montgomery County Police announced Wednesday morning that the man was arrested this morning but provided no additional details. More information is expected at noon. Last week police said they had identified a “person of […]
At his weekly briefing on April 13, Council President George Leventhal called the vandalism at Shaare Torah synagogue a “hate crime” as he shared his thoughts on the April 7th incident. Take a look: