California synagogue vandalism suspect to be extradited

  • Redding

KAILUA-KONA — A 24-year-old Pennsylvania man arrested Wednesday in Kailua-Kona in connection with vandalizing a California synagogue will be extradited back to the Golden State.

Anton Nathaniel Redding will be transferred to California within the coming days to face charges in Los Angeles following the extradition’s approval Thursday by Kona Circuit Court Judge Melvin H. Fujino.

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Redding is charged with vandalism of a religious property and burglary, charges that include a penalty enhancement for a hate crime for allegedly vandalizing last weekend the Nessah Synagogue in Beverly Hills, according to a press release from the Beverly Hills Police Department.

During Thursday’s hearing, Redding, who was shackled and escorted by sheriff’s deputies, waived his rights to an extradition hearing and writ of habeas corpus allowing the extradition to proceed.

“He’s freely volunteering to return to the state of California,” said Deputy Public Defender Ann Datta, who represented Redding during the hearing.

When asked whether he’d consumed any medication, alcohol or drugs within 24 hours of Thursday’s hearing, Redding admitted to having consumed alcohol and smoked marijuana and tobacco prior to his arrest Wednesday afternoon by Hawaii Police Department officers near Kailua Pier.

“When I was picked up yesterday, probably three hours before that I had three shots of Fireball (whiskey),” Redding told the judge, later stating he’d smoked marijuana within about an hour of his apprehension.

Fujino maintained bail for Redding set at $250,000 and set a status hearing for January. If Redding has not been extradited to California by then, he must be released in accordance with Hawaii law.

The California law enforcement agency contacted the Hawaii Police Department on Wednesday to report its officers were tracking Redding on a $250,000 felony extradition warrant. Redding, according to police, allegedly fled the synagogue following the Dec. 14 incident in a cab to Los Angeles International Airport where he hopped a flight to Hawaii.

Two detectives and two sergeants with the Beverly Hills department had already flown to Oahu in search of the suspect. There, the officers learned Redding had taken a flight to Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole.

Upon being contacted by the Beverly Hills department, the Hawaii Police Department’s Special Enforcement Unit was tasked with finding the suspect, and at about 1 p.m. Wednesday, officers located Redding on Alii Drive, near Kailua Pier, according to police.

Redding, who resides in Millersville, Pennsylvania, was arrested without incident on the extradition warrant and taken to the Kona Police Station pending Thursday’s court hearing.

Redding was identified as a suspect in the case on Tuesday after police reviewed surveillance footage and forensic evidence from the Dec. 14 incident. The suspect overturned furniture, threw brochures and materials around and damaged several “Jewish relics” at Nessah Synagogue, police said in a statement, NBC News reported.

Beverly Hills Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli announced the arrest at a community town hall Wednesday night about the synagogue vandalism, news that prompted a standing ovation from the crowd. She said it was “one of the worst incidents that can happen to a community,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

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“I said we would catch this guy and we did,” said Mayor John Mirisch in a Beverly Hills Police Department press release. “The criminal who we believe desecrated a holy place on Shabbat is now in custody thanks to the superb work of the Beverly Hills Police Department. The Beverly Hills community is strong and will not be intimidated by despicable acts. Our thoughts remain with the Nessah community as they work to move forward from this terrible crime.”

Hawaii Police Department Area II Assistant Chief Robert Wagner declined comment Thursday on the department’s involvement in apprehending Redding.

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