Christopher Brown, 21, of Aquebogue, at his arraignment Sunday in lower Manhattan...

Christopher Brown, 21, of Aquebogue, at his arraignment Sunday in lower Manhattan for allegedly posting on social media about shooting up a synagogue. 

Credit: Curtis Means

A grand jury has indicted an Aquebogue man in connection with his social media posts about shooting up a synagogue, according to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

Notice of the indictment against Christopher Brown, 21, was filed Wednesday, according to Emily Tuttle, an office spokeswoman.

Two officers from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority police force arrested Brown Friday night at Penn Station in possession of a knife and a Nazi armband. He’s scheduled for an arraignment Dec. 7 on the indictment, she said.

The indictment’s specific charge or charges weren’t said on the record in court, and the document itself remains sealed, she said.

Brown was previously charged with making a terroristic threat, aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a weapon.

For felonies, New York State law requires a grand jury indictment within a set time frame or a person must be freed.

Brown had allegedly tweeted that he would be asking a priest “if I should become a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die,” according to court records.

Earlier in the day before his arrest, he visited Manhattan's St. Patrick's Cathedral to seek the blessing, records show.

No specific synagogue for the alleged attack has been identified, and it's unclear whether he and a co-defendant, who was also arrested and charged, had any in mind.

The other defendant, Matthew Mahrer, 22, is free on bail, according to the city Department of Correction website. He faces weapons charges in connection with a Glock 17 firearm and a 30-round magazine recovered from his Manhattan apartment.

Neither man appeared at a scheduled court proceeding Wednesday; their attorneys appeared on their behalf, Tuttle said.

“Brown wasn’t produced from custody, and Mahrer is in inpatient care at a hospital,” she wrote in an email. She didn't say why he's hospitalized or where. 

As part of the plot, the court records say, the two drove to Pennsylvania with a friend of Mahrer’s named Jay to buy a gun, Brown told the police, adding that he paid $650 for the weapon after they arrived at Jay’s home in Pennsylvania but changed his mind because he worried about being caught.

Mahrer bought the handgun instead and the two returned to Manhattan, Brown allegedly told the police.

“I have a sick personality,” Brown said to police, according to the records. “I was going to be a coward and blow my brains out with it. It took me three years to finally buy the gun.”

News of the indictment comes a day after Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill mandating that anyone convicted of a hate crime in New York State must undergo anti-hate-crime counseling or training. That's in addition to whatever other punishments a court might mete out.

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