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Authorities looking for car following an attack on Cape Coral Jewish Center

Suspected car from Jewish attack
Posted at 11:22 AM, Mar 13, 2023

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — The Cape Coral Police Department (CCPD) confirmed with Fox 4 that they are investigating an incident that happened at the Chabad Jewish Center in Cape Coral Saturday afternoon.

The incident happened in broad daylight at 1 p.m. A report said an individual attempted to break the front door by throwing bricks at it to gain entry.

During the incident, a parked car was hit and a menorah was thrown to the ground.

CCPD confirmed that they are looking for a suspect and no one is in custody.

According to witnesses they were inside about to head home after the Saturday service when they heard a loud noise of someone trying to come inside the center.

Rabbi Yossi Labkowski showed Fox 4 the damage to the center's door. The door wasn't the only thing damaged.

The Rabbi's windshield was broken because of a brick.

“As soon as he saw he couldn't get into the building he had to put his rage into something else so he started throwing stones at the car," Rabbi Labkowski said.

“The door was shaking, so I thought for the moment somebody was shooting at the door," said Jacob Ben-Haim, a member of the Chabad Jewish Center. “When you hear something like that you think the worst.”

It wasn't a gun, but still, an alarming sound happened 10 feet from the group of seven people including women and children.

"At this point it does seem like it has the elements of a hate crime. But obviously law enforcement has to do their investigation," said Trish Routte with Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers. "It's a fine line between freedom of speech and then doing something like this."

When asked if this is being investigated as a hate crime, CCPD responded that the department can't confirm anything about a hate crime since they do not have a suspect in custody.

Witnesses described the man as a white, bald, man with glasses.

"A witness reported the crime and provided the following details: a white male in his 50s wearing a white shirt and tan pants was seen damaging a sign in the parking lot of the center, throwing bricks at the glass door to the building, and breaking the window of a car parked in the parking lot. The male was approximately 6’00’’ tall and weighed an estimated 200 lbs. He was also said to be balding but had some grey hair and glasses"
Cape Coral Police
Suspected car from Jewish attack
Cape Coral Police confirmed this is the suspected car from the Jewish attack.

“I did the whole talk on the phone trick and took a photo of the front of his car," said a witness.

For safety reasons Fox 4 isn't revealing the identity of the witness, but he was the one who took the photo of the car. While police still search for the person of interest, this community still wonders how this could happen in the Cape.

Anyone with information, please call us at (239)-574-3223 or contact us by email at CCPDtips@capecoral.gov

Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS.

Please use Case Number 23-006123.

For more information follow along with Fox4 as we continue to bring you the most up-to-date details on this story.