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Suspect being questioned in burned mezuzahs in Brooklyn

April 10, 2013 8:25:54 PM PDT
In a community where sacred symbols matter greatly, the vandalism hit home literally.

The doors of a dozen orthodox families in Williamsburg where Jewish mezuzahs, holy parchments that are supposed to be symbols of protection, were burned this week.

"And now, it's a different tone. Everybody feels, and is convinced, the NYPD is on the right track," Rabbi Niederman of Williamsburg United Jewish Organizations said.

Police have been questioning 34-year-old Ruben Ubiles, who they called a person of interest because he appeared on surveillance video near Tuesday's crime scene.

However, will there be enough evidence to charge him?

"We wish we could have told that somebody saw this happen, but nobody saw this happen," Assemblyman Joseph Lentol said.

On Wednesday, a man claiming to be Ruben Ubiles took to Facebook to defend himself in a lengthy post filled with typos, writing, "I don't like fires? been threw too many of those to attempt to threaten a community that has not violated me."

The woman who claims to be Rubin Ublies' girlfriend did not want to be identified, but she told Eyewitness News exclusively on Wednesday that Ublies does not hate Jews, and she said that is obvious. .

"I'm Jewish. I'm his girlfriend. He doesn't have a problem with anybody. He loves people from all walks of life. He's a very peaceful person," she said.

However, Ubiles has more than 50 prior arrests. His most recent one was for assault.

In that Facebook post, Ubiles seemed to ramble in his views, writing, "when Jews burn wood and garbage on every corner? it's ok to pollute the surroundings..."

Police have surveillance camera video of Ubiles in both buildings in which Jews' homes were targeted.

Some of those who lived in the homes that were torched spoke out on Wednesday.

"It was very painful, it wasn't one of our neighbors," said victim Zalman Wurzberger.

Ublies' girlfriend says it wasn't him either, in fact, she claims that for one of those incidents, Ublies was at a library.

"He likes to go," his girlfriend said, "he wants to go to college."

So far no charges have been filed.

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