A homeless guy was detained Tuesday after attempting to attack a Jewish school in Miami Beach and telling a security officer he was a member of the terrorist group Hamas.
According to a Miami Beach Police Department arrest record, police were sent about 9:30 a.m. to a suspicious individual near the school’s campus.
According to authorities, an armed school security guard was wearing a Yarmulke, a traditional Jewish head covering, when he was approached by 42-year-old Alier Ojeda Salas while standing at the outer gates positioned between the school and a local synagogue.
According to authorities, Ojeda Salas told an armed school security officer that he belonged to Hamas and was carrying C4 explosives in a plastic bag.
When the security guard requested Ojeda Salas to repeat himself, he said, “I am with Hamas,” according to authorities.
According to the report, after departing the location, Ojeda Salas was pursued by the school security officer and eventually captured by police.
“In fear for his safety and the safety of the children and congregants at school,” the security guard informed both the school and the synagogue about Ojeda Salas’ threat to put a destructive device carrying explosives, according to investigators.
Students and staff were then relocated to a secure location, and the school was placed on lockdown.
The defendant’s threatening acts disturbed both the school and the synagogue, an arresting officer said in the report.
According to authorities, the suspect purposefully harassed and threatened the security officer because of his Jewish origin and clothes, based on the nature of Ojeda Salas’ threats, as well as the location and manner in which he approached the security guard.
Police in Miami Beach questioned the individual throughout the day and determined that there was no current threat to the community.
However, Jewish people in the region believe that in this day and age, you must be careful.
“Honestly, I felt actually very unsettled for the first time in a community that has always been pleasant,” Josh Abersera, who observed the event, said.
“For someone to say they are with Hamas and have C4 is a major red flag,” said Christopher Beas, a Miami Beach Police Department officer.
Ojeda Salas was escorted to the Miami Beach Police Station for interrogation, but after being read his Miranda rights, he elected not to make a statement.
According to jail records, Ojeda Salas is charged with felony counts of threatening to throw a bomb or discharge a destructive device for prejudice purposes, disturbing school/religious gatherings for prejudice purposes, harassing or intimidating religious-based or ethnic heritage gatherings, and assault with prejudice against religious gatherings.
He was being detained on a magistrate hold at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center as of Tuesday.