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Fresno man charged with hate crime over note left at vandalized bakery, police believe he mistook Christian owners for Jews
Image Source: KFSN-TV YouTube video screenshot composite

Fresno man charged with hate crime over note left at vandalized bakery, police believe he mistook Christian owners for Jews

A man has been charged with a hate crime over a note that was found at a vandalized bakery owned by Christians in Fresno, California, police say.

30-year-old Orlando Javier Ramirez was arrested on Tuesday by Fresno police who said he was caught on surveillance video throwing rocks that shattered the windows at the Noah's Ark Restaurant and Bakery.

The video showed a man tossing something on the ground after breaking the windows.

Police said it was a handwritten note on a newspaper clipping saying that all Jewish businesses would be targeted, but the bakery was in fact owned by Christians from Armenia.

Bakery co-owner Ani Baghramyan told KFSN-TV that she believed the attack might have something to do with the terror attack on Israel but that they had nothing to do with either country.

"We don't have anything to do with either of the countries, we are Armenian Christians, so we are not from Israel, we are not from Palestine, and have nothing to do with the conflict over there," she said.

Baghramyan added that it was the second vandalism attack on their bakery. The first one occurred in May.

Despite the confusion, Ramirez is being charged with felony hate crime as well as felony vandalism and felony criminal threats.

Police believe the incident might be related to a similar vandalism attack Tuesday on Temple Beth Israel, a religious center about two miles away from the bakery. Rabbi Rick Winer told KFSN that their glass door was shattered with a rock, and they found a backpack with more rocks inside.

"At this point, those charges are all related to Noah's Ark Restaurant and Bakery. However, Mr. Ramirez is a very strong person of interest in the Temple Beth Israel case," said Fresno Police Lt. Bill Dooley.

The police chief said in a statement that officers don't believe Ramirez had any involvement with extremist groups from the Middle East.

"He has very little criminal history, at least with our agency, and his criminal history is really related to vandalism," he added.

The bakery's owners said that their phone had been ringing off the hook from people calling in to express their support for their business and their presence in the community.

"I came in to say I'm sorry," said Mary Cook, a resident of Madera. "I just want them to know not everybody is like that."

Baghramyan said they were appreciative of the support from the Fresno community.

"It was very warming to feel all the care and love from our community, and we are still here to serve you delicious Armenian food."

Fresno police said they had increased their patrol presence around synagogues and Jewish businesses in the city since the terror attack in the Middle East.

Here's a local news video about the incidents:

Vandalism against Fresno Jewish businesses investigated as hate crimeswww.youtube.com

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Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia

Staff Writer

Carlos Garcia is a staff writer for Blaze News.