Pearl River Man Arrested After Harassing, Anti-Semitic Calls to Synagogues

24-year-old being held in the county jail after Clarkstown police traced calls to him.

PEARL RIVER, NY -- A 24-year-old Pearl River man has been arrested after making harassing and anti-Semitic telephone calls two synagogues and a Jewish community center, according to local police.

The calls, police said, made direct reference to the on-going conflict in Gaza, where Israel has retaliated with military action after Israel was hit by rocket fire from militants in Gaza. The calls, police said, blamed Israel for the violence in Gaza.

James Schroeter, 24, of Pearl River was arrested at his home on Friday after Clarkstown police detectives were able to trace calls that were made to Temple Beth Torah and Congregation Sons of Israel, both in Upper Nyack, and JCC Rockland in West Nyack.

Police said no threats of violence were made and there does not appear to be any specific reason why calls were made to the two temples and the community center other than their religious affiliation.

Harassing calls started at about 1:15 p.m. on Friday. Police said the calls included a number of anti-Semitic statements as well as anti-Israel statements that also include blaming Israel for the on-going violence in Gaza.

Police said there were no incidents of vandalism or violence connected with the calls.

After his arrest, Schroeter was arraigned in Clarkstown Town Court in New City and he was ordered held in the Rockland County Correctional Facility in New City on $3,000 bail pending a hearing.

Al Cloutier November 18, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Right.. obama isn't a friend of Israel.
Al Cloutier November 18, 2012 at 08:08 PM
David Gorfinkle November 18, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Answer: Treat others with respect.
christinedahll November 18, 2012 at 09:04 PM
I've been saying it's time for everyone to wake up. Bigotry is alive and running rampant in the US. I see it time and time again! I think it is one of the things that really brings us down as a country!
Mrs. G. November 18, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Sadly, my first thought was after seeing his picture was," He is only 34?" We are beoming so immune to this sort of thing that we hardly even blink.
Mrs. G. November 18, 2012 at 09:33 PM
I should have typed "he is only 24", although, 34 is unbelievable as well.
Berti November 18, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Mike, I totally agree with you that knowing the exact charges would definitely add a great deal of clarity to the article and all of the discussions, which follow. It would also help all of us understand the nature of the alleged offense, and I state it that way because thankfully we live in a country where one is innocent until proven guilty. My initial comment was in response to you determining which statute applied and that you were not sure that he "Actually violated it." With the meager facts on hand, it is impossible for anyone to make an adjudication of this man's guilt or innocence. However, a modicum of legal training is more than helpful, it is needed, to correctly understand and interpret our laws and legal system. People can always offer their opinions and interpretations of the law, it's done everyday, but accuracy and restraint are a whole other story. Respectfully, Berti
Bob B November 18, 2012 at 11:08 PM
Berti - The Constitution doesn't just belong to lawyers, it belongs to all of us, and we sure as heck can comment about it, or any other law, if we want. Mike has every right to voice his opinion, whether a lawyer likes what he says or not.
Joseph J Gannon November 18, 2012 at 11:43 PM
As for "religious harassment", it's aggravated harassment I think under the NYS Penal LAw, perhaps viewed as a bit more eggregious when delivered anonymously. For the ACLU types concerned about police methods of investigation here, , I suspect they and this genius forgot about Caller ID. As for bail, that's a discussion between advocates....one for the people and one for the defendant. The magistrate makes the determination on approropiate bail. It's supposed to be made with a view to flight risk. Realistically, as suggested here, it can be somewhat punitive. Since neither I or anybody else here on this commentary was at the arraignment, I have no idea what transpired. With jerks like this, it's usually their parents or relatives that have to provide for bail and take a chance of forfeiture if Boy Wonder takes a powder.
if this guy had a backbone he shouild have yelled on rt 45 the comments..then we would have seen justice done ....typical hider....then again this type doesnt deserve any re-action from good people..
Mike November 19, 2012 at 12:13 AM
"You can't go up to a religion and make offensive comments", but apparently if you are the government you can force religious institutions to violate their most sacred held tenets through force of non-Constitutional law like Obama has done with the HHS mandate
Lou Kugell November 19, 2012 at 12:45 AM
This may be the kind of guy (sometime in the future) when a horrible crime is perpetrated, and everyone blames the police for NOT taking action. Better safe than sorry,enough blood has been spilled for lesser incidents.
Jeramiah Johnson November 19, 2012 at 01:46 AM
rather than calling the places he did, he should have contacted the Israeli embassy in DC. Maybe he couldn't afford the l. d. charges?
Ed November 19, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Yeah but Isreal back Obama's re-election!
Tyler Durden November 19, 2012 at 12:18 PM
So now we are arresting people for crimes they may commit sometime in the future? Will you be comfortable with this when the boot is stepping on your neck?
pomeria November 19, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Mike, the article said calls. That means he made more than one call. Enough calls to a land line to have the place report the calls it to police. That is when they can set up and trace the incoming calls. The ability to trace incoming calls goes back at least 40 years if not longer. The equipment used has changed is all.
Matthew Yuri November 19, 2012 at 04:15 PM
How do you know he isn't working? People have different working hours you know.
cherichavez November 19, 2012 at 05:11 PM
You no Mike I was thinking the same thing until I read down that you already replied. Some people on these sites really get their feathers in a ruffle over someone else s opinion. And that is all we do here is write down our opinions. So everyone please calm down lol
Jeri Gonzalez November 19, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Its amazing how people look for scapegoats and that unfortunately the Jews are always right in there! Its always, blame someone else; impune, deceive and deflect from the truth because its too unbearable to make reality your reality.
Dan Weisberg November 19, 2012 at 07:13 PM
It is amazing how so many who comment have no idea how the criminal justice process works. Mr. Gannon gave you some idea of how the police "traced" the suspect. Tracked down would have been more accurate, and may not have caused the big brother theorists to voice their concerns. Remember that the police and the judge are likely privy to much more information than the paragraph or two released to the public via a press release. Things like what were actually said on the calls. Past criminal acts of a suspect. Mental condition of a suspect. Likelihood of future acts that may cause harm to the victim(s) or society in general. So no, he was not arrested for future crimes - he was arrested for the crimes he committed and many other factors played in to the setting of bail. Also, this was not police initiated. There were three complaining victims any or all of whom may have desired to press criminal charges. Even if the victims did not wish to pursue the matter, the police could have brought charges based upon what had been presented to them. Whether a conviction could be obtained without cooperating victims or witnesses is a whole separate issue, but there have been successful prosecutions where the victim did not cooperate (sometimes this happens in domestic violence situations). But I suppose the beauty of the blog is you can say what you want without knowledge or consideration of facts at all.
Mike November 19, 2012 at 09:38 PM
@pomeria- yes it says callS, but it also says the calls were to at least three separate places, so you nor I know if he made multiple calls to the same place from this article.
Berti November 20, 2012 at 01:37 AM
To Bob, Hi, I think that you entirely misread my statement, if fact, I said the reverse of what you read into it. I absolutely agree that the U.S.Constitution belongs to all of us, which is why I stated that none of us can adjudicate this case w/o knowing the facts, what the accused is charged with, and, that we, all of us, to spell it out more fully, are innocent until proven guilty, even those charged with more heinous crimes than this such as rape, murder, arson, and, the like. To Mike, Hi again, if what the federal government did with Healthcare legislation were unconstitutional it would have been struck down by the Supreme Court of the U.S. - that's why there are 3 branches of the Federal Government to provide checks and balances. Any law can be challenged, in the present or in the future, as unconstitutional. Go for it, if you feel that you have standing (that's a legal determination not having to do with my opinion) to challenge it and a legitimate cause of action that hasn't already been decided on this issue. Wishing you all, even the haters, a Happy Thanksgiving, with wishes for Peace and Understanding in a troubled world!
Berti November 20, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Thanks, Joseph, for making several rational points!
Mike November 20, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Berti, my comments about the ACA were specific to HHS mandate which has not yet been ruled on by SCOTUS. Several lower courts have ruled against this mandate, but these will eventually work their way up to SC. I don't judge anyone here who exercises their right to freedom of expression as "haters".
Joseph J Gannon November 20, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Thank you, Mr. Weisberg. "Spot on" as they say....perhaps too many OD's on the various manifestations of CSI for some bloggers. What's revealing is some of the idiotic and/or perhaps pyschotic remarks. As I have often noted, the First Amendment does cover those who wish to comport themselves like the south end of a northbound horse.
Berti November 20, 2012 at 03:59 AM
What is particularly noteworthy, and somewhat sad, to me, is that most, if not all of the people who replied to my initial response to Mike, and probably many who did not bother to write, immediately assumed that I am an attorney. Since Mike cited the law that he thought "appeared" to apply, ventured an opinion on the suspect's innocence, and, questioned the constitutionality of police methods in the case, he left me with the impression that not only might he be a lawyer, but one directly involved in the case. So I specifically asked for his qualifications and it hit the fan, not only about me but also about lawyers expressing their opinions, which ran totally counter to what the protesters where claiming for Mike and everyone else, except, of course, lawyers! - ironic at best. I am reminded of a particularly funny episode of The Odd Couple on TV, where Felix was defending Oscar and himself in (coincidentally) court against charges after they were arrested when a police officer ASSUMED that they were ticket scalping when they were simply trying to give away their theater tickets. With his usual flourishes, Felix dissected the word "assume" on a blackboard as follows: ass/u/me. Enough said! And, no, I will neither confirm nor deny whether I am an attorney.
Berti November 20, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Well said! Better than I said it but I wouldn't be surprised if you got bombarded with ridiculous comments - good luck!
Berti November 20, 2012 at 05:25 AM
Hi Mike, RE: Your comment: I don't judge anyone here who exercises their right to freedom of expression as "haters". I didn't think that you did! Take care, Berti
Mike November 21, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Berti- thanks, my misinterpretation.
B John January 28, 2013 at 11:47 AM
It's true about the trace. I did the classic call "is your refrigerator running?". "yes". "go catch it!!!". Than the SWAT Team kicked in my door.......


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