Two armed males arrested in reference to on-line threats towards New York Metropolis’s Jewish neighborhood had a Manhattan synagogue of their sights, a prosecutor mentioned Sunday.
Matthew Mahrer, 22; and Christopher Brown, 21, have been arraigned Sunday on 11 whole fees, together with felony possession of a weapon and felony possession of a firearm, in response to the felony complaints within the case.
Brown was additionally charged with making a felony risk.
Attorneys representing the defendants individually didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.
Prosecutors mentioned of their court docket filings that Brown used Twitter Thursday to make this alleged risk: “Gonna ask a Priest if I ought to grow to be a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die.”
On Friday, he tweeted, “This time I’m actually gonna do it,” prosecutors mentioned within the filings.
If he had a particular synagogue in thoughts, the paperwork do not say which.
The social media statements acquired the eye of the multi-jurisdiction Joint Terrorism Job Power, which gave a heads as much as MTA police. Transit officers noticed and arrested the pair at Penn Station late Friday, authorities mentioned.
The duo was nabbed following “a creating risk to the Jewish neighborhood,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell mentioned in an announcement Saturday.
The 2 had traveled to Pennsylvania late final week to buy a gun, prosecutors mentioned within the charging paperwork.
Brown mentioned in an announcement he gave to prosecutors after his arrest that he supposed to purchase the gun however backed out on the final minute, in response to the felony complaints.
He met Mahrer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral “to get the blessing,” earlier than touring to Pennsylvania with a person recognized solely by his first identify, in response to prosecutors’ account of Brown’s assertion. The day of the week is not made clear.
“I modified my thoughts as a result of I used to be nervous concerning the police and did not need the gun anymore,” Brown is quoted as saying.
Brown mentioned he had despatched $650 by cellphone app to Mahrer; the police report would not clarify what occurred to that cash. Mahrer finally bought the weapon from the person who drove them out of state, Brown mentioned, in response to prosecutors.
Earlier within the week, Brown can also be alleged to have tweeted, “Large strikes being made on Friday.”
The 2 have been seen on safety video Friday night time getting into an Higher West Facet residence constructing, which corresponds to Mahrer’s residence, authorities mentioned. Mahrer was carrying a bag, later recovered from the foyer by police, authorities mentioned.
Contained in the bag was a Glock-style semiautomatic pistol, a large-capacity journal, and 17 9mm rounds, authorities alleged.
Greater than an hour later the 2 have been noticed, detained and finally arrested at Penn Station. Brown had in his possession an 8-inch army type knife, a swastika arm patch, and a ski masks, prosecutors alleged.
He defined the gun to prosecutors, they mentioned: “I’ve a sick character. I used to be going to be a coward” and apply it to himself, he mentioned.
He advised them he runs what he referred to as a “white supremacist Twitter group” and Mahrer was a follower, in response to the charging paperwork.
“I’ve nazi paraphernalia in my home,” Brown is quoted as saying. “I believe it’s actually cool.”
Manhattan District Legal professional Alvin Bragg, whose workplace is prosecuting the pair, mentioned in an announcement that their arrest may need prevented hate violence.
“A possible tragedy was averted once they have been intercepted by cops at Penn Station,” he mentioned, “on condition that on-line postings indicated an intent to make use of these weapons at a Manhattan synagogue.”
Maher was being held in lieu of $150,000 money or $300,000 partially secured or bonded bail. Brown was being held with out bail. Their subsequent court docket date was scheduled for Wednesday.
For those who or somebody you realize is in disaster, name 988 to achieve the Suicide and Disaster Lifeline. You too can name the community, beforehand often known as the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, textual content HOME to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/assets for added assets.
Yasmeen Persaud, Jonathan Dienst and Myles Miller contributed.