Two men who made alleged threats against synagogues in New York City were arrested late Friday, November 18 — and now, Matthew Mahrer, a 22-year-old from the Upper West Side, will next appear in front of a judge on Wednesday, December 7 for his reported actions. According to court documents, Mahrer’s co-conspirator Christopher Brown was charged with making a terroristic threat, criminal possession of a weapon and other weapons charges. Mahrer was arraigned on November 19 and was released on bail to his home on West 94th Street.
Upper West Side community leader Sheldon Fine reported to The Jewish Link that Mahrer will be back in court this coming Wednesday at 10am. “I recommend that we and our congregants, friends and neighbors fill the court for his appearance,” he said. “Given the rise in antisemitic incidents in New York City and across the nation and world, if this case will not motivate us to action, I don’t know what will!”
Fine continued that he hopes the Jewish community will turn up to attend the hearing. He recommended that everyone “contact all of our major Jewish organizations and our elected representatives to make a strong appeal to the judge for a remand that will place Matthew Mahrer in appropriate custody, rather than in the community.”
According to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Mahrer and his partner were in possession of a firearm, a high-capacity magazine, ammunition and a swastika arm patch, among other things. They were intercepted at Penn Station late Friday night and arrested, which later was described as thwarting an “evolving threat to the Jewish community” by the FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force.
During the arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court, Mahrer’s defense attorney Brandon Freycint stated that Mahrer is “of Jewish heritage,” and resides with his grandfather who is a Holocaust survivor. “There are a lot of questions here,” Freycint noted of the accusations.
Mahrer’s hearing will take place at New York Supreme Court – Criminal Term Part GWP1, located at 111 Center Street. For more information, Fine can be reached at [email protected].