Cape Coral, FL – A man throwing bricks, toppling a colorful, large image of a menorah and destroying a car attacked the Chabad Jewish Center of Cape Coral on Saturday in what authorities are calling an antisemitic attack.
“Our security had been in place and he couldn’t get into the building,” said Rabbi Yossi Labkowski. “We don’t live in fear. We’re not going to let this bother us. And we’re going to continue worshipping God.”
The attack fell days after the Jewish festival of Purim on March 6 and 7 and three weeks before Passover beginning April 5.
Labkowski said services Saturday had wrapped up and six or seven people remained in the center, 1716 Cape Coral Parkway W., when they heard a commotion. He said after toppling the menorah, the man threw bricks at the center door, attempting to gain entry.
He said the door has impact glass, which didn’t break.
Cape Coral Police said the suspect is in his 50s and was wearing a white shirt and tan pants. He is about 6 feet tall, weighs 200 pounds, wears glasses and has thinning gray hair.
Labkowski said the man then went to the sole car in the lot and began throwing bricks at it, destroying it. As soon as people from nearby businesses noticed the commotion, he said they ran toward the center.
“He got scared, went to his car and drove off,” Labkowski said. Witnesses saw only the one man.
The suspect left in a light green Ford Edge with a Florida license plate.
Labkowski said his was the only car in the parking lot. Because of the Sabbath, members had walked to services. He had parked his car there Friday before sundown. The center has several hundred members.