A man in Cape Coral, FL tried to break into the Chabad Center while community members were still inside. When he wasn’t able to break in, he smashed the shliach’s car instead. Local authorities are still searching for the perpetrator.
By: Anash.org Reporter
Cape Coral Community members are still reeling after a man attacked the Chabad House in what they are sure is a hate crime.
As davening was finishing up, shliach Rabbi Yossi Labkowski heard a loud noise by the front door. The noise was so loud some occupants first thought it sounded like shooting, but realized with relief there were no bullets. On closer inspection, they realized someone was aggressively throwing bricks into the glass doors at the entrance of the Chabad Center, trying to get in.
Miraculously, the door he was trying to break was covered in impact-resistant glass and was able to hold him off, despite his efforts. After not being able to get into the shul, the attacker took the bricks and threw them at Rabbi Labkowski’s car instead, shattering the front windshield and damaging the passenger side door. It was noticed later that the man also knocked over a large painting of a Menorah in the parking lot. Defeated, the man got into his car and took off. Local authorities are still looking for the perpetrator.
“It’s only a car that can be replaced. Baruch Hashem nobody was injured and nobody got hurt,” Rabbi Labkowski shares.
As for the attacker’s motive? “He was targeting the Jewish community,” Rabbi Labkowski says emphatically.
Community members present at the time of the attack agree it was a hate crime. “The fact that he knocked down the menorah first and then he came to this door. He could’ve gone to any other business, he came to this door. I am in disbelief. Disbelief. Could not believe that something like this would happen in Cape Coral,” community member Ben-Haim said.
In response to this terrifying incident, Chabad of Cape Coral is using the opportunity to review and add to its safety measures. They are looking to add a number of items to keep their community safe including; installing High-Definition night vision cameras, adding security film on all of the windows, and installing a security fence around the entire property.
Besides adding to their security protocols, the Cape Coral community plants to respond in another way. “This incident brought a degree of darkness and hate into our midst, so collectively we need to restore the beauty and light to our community, by doing good,” shared Rabbi Labkowski in a statement provided to Anash.org.
To support the various upgrades in security you can make a donation here.