Police Sunday said a man seen masked and armed with a machete photographed outside a synagogue in Sherman Oaks has been arrested.
With details still sketchy — included where and what led to his arrest — David Brener was arrested Friday on suspicion of probation violation, said Officer Rosario Herrera of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section.
Herrera confirmed that a photo taken outside Chabad of North Hollywood at 13079 Chandler Blvd. showing a man with his face covered in a scarf and holding a machete in a menacing manner was Brener. She did not immediately have his place of residence.
Brener, 49, was arrested at 11 p.m. Friday by the LAPD’s Major Crimes Division, booked at 4:39 a.m. Saturday and taken to the Van Nuys Jail, where he was being held in lieu of $10,000 bail. He was released at 2:39 p.m. Saturday, according to the Sheriff’s Inmate Information Center.
The incident happened Friday, when a member of the community took the photograph and sent it to the Chabad, Rabbi Nachman Abend told KCAL9, and, for fear of the safety of the congregation, a call was made to police.
“We do not believe there’s any relation to anybody here,” Abend told KCAL9. “We really do not know who he is. It sounds like he wants to protest something, but we’re not sure what he’s trying to protest.”
“Obviously the image is very disturbing,” he said. “A man with a sword standing in front of a synagogue with his face wrapped that way is very concerning.”
It’s not the first recent scare for the local Jewish community.
In November, a 33-year-old man was arrested or allegedly committing attacks on three Orthodox Jewish women in the North Hollywood-Valley Glen area. Steven Szwet allegedly grabbed wigs off the women’s heads as they walked in the area. He was released on bail, and the LAPD said they had forwarded that case to the City Attorney’s Office for a possible hate crime enhancement.
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