A man gave the finger to a surveillance camera mounted on a synagogue in Northeast Philadelphia before he urinated on the building early Sunday morning, according to police. Now authorities are asking for the public's help in identifying him.
Around 12:30 a.m., the man was captured on video approaching the front doors of Congregation Beth Solomon on the 100 block of Tomlinson Road, police said. He is seen giving the finger to the camera and urinated on the synagogue's walls and the sidewalk in front of the synagogue's doors. While urinating, the man "continues to address the camera until finished," police said in a news release.
Surveillance footage shows the man getting into a white sedan and leaving the scene, authorities said.
In a statement, the Anti-Defamation League said the episode marked the third time the synagogue had been vandalized in less than a year. In September, a menorah was stolen from outside of Congregation Beth Solomon and in January, graffiti was spray-painted on the wall of a nearby shopping center where the synagogue's ritual bath is kept.
According to the ADL, anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise for three years in Pennsylvania. The state recorded 67 such incidents in 2016, the most in nearly a decade.
"We are revolted by this most recent display of anti-Semitism in Northeast Philadelphia," ADL regional director Nancy K. Baron-Baer said in a statement. "We've seen vandalism targeting Jewish institutions in the region before, but this latest incident turns the stomach. The amount of hate a person must feel to desecrate a house of worship in this way is incomprehensible and contemptible."