Court documents: Hate crime suspect previously harassed members of Jewish synagogue
SPOKANE, Wash. — The suspect in a hate crime at Spokane’s Temple Beth Shalom previously harassed members, according to a newly-filed search warrant.
Raymond S. Bryant was arrested Thursday and booked into jail for malicious harassment with hate bias and malicious mischief. He was also found to be connected to racist and anti-Semitic flyers left on cars around Spokane earlier this month.
According to court documents, Bryant, who is accused of spray-painting Nazi symbols on the temple, was identified as the suspect after being caught on surveillance footage. Members of the synagogue told police they installed the surveillance cameras and a security system because of previous threats.
One member was able to identify Bryant from incidents in the past. Court records show Bryant previously went to Temple Beth Shalom with other members of a white supremacist group and threw up a Nazi salute.
Bryant’s car was also caught on surveillance footage near the synagogue. When police went to contact him at his home in Airway Heights, they found the car in the front yard, covered in racist bumper stickers.
According to the search warrant, Bryant told police he was a “lieutenant” with the 14First Foundation, a white nationalist group. On Thursday, shortly after his arrest, the self-proclaimed president of the group said they suspended Bryant for the hate-based attack.
In his interview with police, Bryant first said he had never been to Temple Beth Shalom, but when asked if it was possible his car was there on the night of the vandalism, admitted it was. He claimed he had been driving around neighborhoods in the area “scouting out” places to drop off flyers and said it was possible he was at the temple.
Court documents show Bryant later admitted to going to the temple that night, saying he was trying to “get some publicity because a lot of the times they would discard our flyers.”
When asked if it worked, Bryant said, “A little, but it wasn’t worth it. It won’t happen again. It was stupid.”
Bryant made his first appearance in court on Friday. His bond was set at $2,000 and he cannot associate with any types of groups, cannot go on the grounds of any temple and cannot get within 100 yards of Temple Beth Shalom.
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