Florida Man Arrested for Attack on Chabad Center in Cape Coral

Maron Mark Raymon, 51, of Cape Coral, was arrested on April 20 and charged with attempted burglary and criminal mischief to the Chabad Center in Cape Coral.

The arrest was made more than a month after Raymon allegedly threw bricks at the front door of Chabad of Cape Coral as Shabbat services were finishing up. Raymon could not break the glass, so he reportedly broke a lock on the front door before damaging the rabbi’s car and destroying a large menorah outside the Chabad center at 1716 Cape Coral Pkwy W.

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Rabbi Yossi Labkowski, head of the Chabad center, said the suspect fled when two witnesses from the synagogue approached him.

Chabad Lubavitch Cape Coral  –  Maron Mark Ray

“Thank God we caught the individual, and I guess we don’t have to be worried anymore about this guy,” Labkowski told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Local police say they have not yet been able to determine if Raymon has any links to extremist groups. But say that Raymon had been caught trespassing at a nearby church days after the Chabad incident.

He told law enforcement his belief that Jews were conspiring with the government “to keep medical marijuana down.”

In a statement, the Anti-Defamation League’s Florida chapter characterized the attack as an antisemitic incident.

Labkowski, who appeared at a press conference Friday alongside the Cape Coral police chief, said the rarity of antisemitic incidents in the area made it easier to identify the suspect. “As soon as you hear somebody speaking against Jews in the area, you try to connect the dots,” he said.

“This case was priority No. 1,” Chief of Police Anthony Sizemore said at the press conference. “We realize this was a horrific act,” he said. “It shook the confidence in the core of our community.”

The Chabad-Lubavitch center, one of two synagogues in Cape Coral alongside several others in nearby Fort Meyers, has several hundred members, Labkowski said. Local police provided it with an updated security camera system ahead of Passover after the attack.

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Debbie Sanford, director of the local Jewish federation serving Cape Coral, praised law enforcement for its handling of the incident. She said that, in general, police have been responsive and attentive to the needs of Jewish security.

“We have a very wonderful relationship with our local law enforcement,” she said. “We have full faith in them to keep our Jewish community safe.”

Labkowski said the community was “quite relieved” that the man had been caught. He added, “We didn’t believe it would happen in such a city.”

Chief Sizemore called it a challenging case that required a lot of personnel and numerous search warrants.

Raymon is still being held in the Lee County Jail.

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