USA – Medford Hanukkah menorah vandalized twice in same week

Medford police are searching for a suspect in the second of two vandalism incidents to a menorah at Vogel Plaza this week. The second vandalism, reported Tuesday, left the fixture marking the days of Hanukkah beyond repair. [Medford police photo]

Medford, OR – Police have arrested a suspect in the first of two vandalisms reported to a downtown Medford menorah in the span of a week, and are asking the public for clues to find the person behind the second crime, which left the menorah damaged beyond repair.

Vandalisms to the menorah installed at Medford’s Vogel Plaza at the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue were reported at 8 p.m. Dec. 23 and again Tuesday, according to a news advisory issued Wednesday by Medford police.

Isaiah Michael Cleveland, 24, was arrested Saturday on misdemeanor charges of second-degree criminal mischief and second-degree disorderly conduct accusing him of damaging electric light bulbs in the metal fixture marking the days of Hanukkah.

“At the time of arrest, the suspect gave no indication that his actions were antisemitic,” the Medford police release states.

The fixture was installed in downtown Medford for a public menorah lighting ceremony Dec. 20 hosted by Chabad Jewish Center of Southern Oregon and Mayor Randy Sparacino.

Jackson County Jail records show Cleveland was booked in jail at 1:20 a.m. Saturday and released on his own recognizance hours later at 7 a.m.

The police department has referred Cleveland’s case to the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office. Jackson County Circuit Court records show charges have not yet been filed in the case.

The bulbs were replaced after the first vandalism, but police say the second vandalism did more extensive damage to the menorah, and they are “actively investigating the second case.”

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