JACKSON, Tenn. (AP) — Police in Jackson have charged a hotel security guard with defacing a copy of the Torah and Jewish prayer books. According to The Jackson Sun, police charged 24-year-old Justin Shawn Baker with felony vandalism.
Rabbi Gil Perl of Margolin Hebrew Academy in Memphis said he laid out the texts Friday evening for a Saturday worship service in a conference room of the Doubletree Hotel in Jackson. On Saturday morning, he found the Torah and several prayer books defaced or written in with phrases that included, “Gentiles win, Jews lose” and “Submit to Satan.”
“It was shocking, it was disheartening and it hurts to see it,” Perl said. “We wondered if the person who did this had ever met a Jew. This is what happens when people don’t actually take the time to get to know other people.”
Perl was with a group of 45 Orthodox Jewish students on their way to Gatlinburg on a field trip when the incident occurred. Police said the damage probably exceeds $60,000. The FBI and the Tennessee Department of Homeland Security were called into the investigation.