A Massachusetts man tried to blow up a Jewish nursing home with a five-gallon gas canister stuffed with a Christian pamphlet, federal prosecutors allege.
John Michael Rathbun, 36, was arrested Wednesday on attempted arson charges in connection with a homemade incendiary device found outside Ruth’s House, a Jewish-sponsored assisted living facility for people of all faiths in Longmeadow, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts announced.
Prosecutors described the alleged crime as an act of anti-Semitic violence.
“In times of national crisis, hatred based on religion often blossoms into violence,” US Attorney Andrew Lelling said. “The charges in this case allege that the defendant tried to blow up Jewish assisted living residence with a five gallon gas canister, at the same time that the facility was being discussed on white supremacist online platforms.”
Judge Katherine Robertson released Rathbun shortly after he was charged with attempted arson.
The judge’s decision garnered a written objection from US Attorney Steven Breslow, who wrote that Robertson’s decision to release Rathbun “appears to have been greatly influenced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
Read more at THE NY POST.