Man arrested near DC synagogue following alleged assault ‘while shouting an anti-Semitic phrase’

Washington DC police investigating incident involving suspect Brent Wood as ‘being motivated by hate or bias’A suspect has been arrested in Washington, D.C., after allegedly spraying an unknown substance at two people while making antisemitic remarks in the vicinity of a synagogue, police say. 

Brent Wood, a 33-year-old with a last known address in Toledo, Ohio, is now facing charges of simple assault and resisting arrest in relation to the incident on Sunday morning, which is being investigated as an offense "being motivated by hate or bias," according to the Metropolitan Police Department. 

"On Sunday, December 17, 2023, at approximately 9:26 a.m., Second District officers responded to the 2800 block of N Street, Northwest, for the report of an individual spraying an unknown substance at two victims while shouting an anti-Semitic phrase," police said in a statement. 

"Responding officers located the suspect and placed him under arrest. As a precautionary measure, the suspect’s vehicle was swept with no hazardous materials found," police added. "No injuries were reported." 


Synagogue in Washington, DC

The Kesher Israel Congregation is located on the same block that Washington, D.C., police say its officers responded to on Sunday. (Google Maps)

While police did not specify the synagogue, the Kesher Israel Congregation is located on the same block police say they responded to. 

The synagogue says on its website, "As the only shul of its kind in downtown DC, Kesher Israel, cherishes warmth and hospitality, and people of all ages, genders, and religious backgrounds are welcomed and respected." 

It is unclear what relationship, if any, Wood had with the two alleged victims.  

The Metropolitan Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital on Monday morning.


DC Police Department's SUV

The Metropolitan Police Department alleges Brent Wood was "spraying an unknown substance at two victims while shouting an anti-Semitic phrase." (Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

placeholderThe incident happened as the Anti-Defamation League said Sunday that they "are investigating an exponential increase in numbers of reported swatting threats against Jewish institutions across the country this weekend."

"We are continuing to work with law enforcement, partners and the local communities in the face of these incidents and will provide updates as we learn more," they added in a post on X. 

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks at briefing

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in November that the Biden administration is continuing to see an "alarming trend of antisemitic threats and attacks targeting Jewish communities across the country." (AP/Evan Vucci)

The White House has condemned the rise in antisemitic incidents during the Israel-Hamas war, which began on Oct. 7 when the Palestinian terrorist group launched an attack on southern Israel. 

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