Cops: Pearl River man made anti-Semitic phone calls

A Clarkstown police car sits parked outside the

A Clarkstown police car sits parked outside the Justice Court and Police Department on Maple Avenue in New City. (Feb. 15, 2012) (Credit: Angela Gaul)

As violence escalated between Israelis and Palestinians half a world away, police said a Pearl River man took out his frustrations by ranting at staffers of local synagogues and Jewish community organizations.

Starting on Friday afternoon, 24-year-old James Schroeter allegedly began making calls to the Jewish Community Center in West Nyack, as well as Temple Beth Torah and Congregation Sons of Israel in Nyack.

Schroeter's rants featured a mix of invective and anti-Semitism, according to police. Apparently unloading on whoever answered the phones at the local Jewish organizations, Schroeter's calls were "not exactly threatening, but harassing, annoying phone calls," Clarkstown Police Sgt. Gerard O'Connor said.

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According to police, the Pearl River man mentioned the current violence between Israelis and Palestinians, which continued Sunday as Palestinian militants lobbed rockets into southern Israel and the Israeli military launched airstrikes on Palestinian-controlled territories.

Police got involved when staffers at the local synagogues and community organizations called them. Schroeter was arrested later Friday without incident, O'Connor said.

Schroeter was charged with aggravated harassment, a misdemeanor. He was arraigned and sent to Rockland County Jail lin lieu of $3,000 bail pending a court hearing Nov. 19 in Clarkstown. Schroeter did not have an attorney listed in court records.

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