Fresno man arrested for hate crimes targeting synagogue, businesses

Fresno police arrested 30-year-old Orlando Ramirez on suspicion of committing a targeted hate crime against a Jewish synagogue and local business while threatening Jewish-owned businesses.

Fresno Police arrested a Fresno man alleged to have vandalized a local synagogue and Mediterranean restaurant on Monday night.

The arrest concludes a speedy investigation by police into a pair of attacks on the properties with claims of larger targeting of the Jewish population.


Driving the news: The first incident occurred at Temple Beth Israel, a reform synagogue located in north Fresno. 

  • Around 6 a.m. a synagogue employee discovered that a rock had been thrown through the glass in the front door of the synagogue, as well as a backpack with several more rocks that had been left behind. 
  • At around 8:30 a.m. an employee of Noah’s Ark Restaurant and Bakery found that two windows had been broken at the restaurant. 
  • Noah’s Ark co-owner Ani Baghramyan told reporters that the vandal left a handwritten note on a newspaper in the restaurant reading “All Jewish businesses will be targeted.” The restaurant is owned by Armenians.

Breakthrough: Tuesday evening, Fresno police announced an arrest of an unnamed person of interest in the case.

  • Fresno County Jail booking logs identify 30-year-old Orlando Javier Ramirez as having been arrested by Fresno Police on suspicion of committing a hate crime, vandalism, and issuing criminal threats.
  • As of Wednesday morning, he remains in-custody with bail set at $17,500 .

What they’re saying: The Fresno Police Department will not tolerate any acts of violence, threats of violence or efforts of intimidation towards any of our community members,” Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama said in a statement. “We are actively investigating both of these incidents, dedicating personnel and resources to identifying the suspects and holding them accountable.” 

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