By Carol Tannenhauser
An Upper West Side man was arrested late Friday night in connection with a “developing threat to the Jewish community,” Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said in a statement on Saturday.
Matthew Mahrer, 22, of W. 94th Street, was detained by MTA officers in Penn Station along with Christopher Brown, 21, of Aquebogue in Suffolk County, New York. Both men were charged with “criminal possession of a weapon.” Brown was also charged with “[making] a terroristic threat and aggravated harassment,” according to an NYPD spokesperson.
The New York Post reported that Mahrer lives with his parents on the Upper West Side and is “Jewish and the grandson of a Holocaust survivor.” The Post attributed the information to Brandon Freycint, identified as Mahrer’s defense attorney. Freycint was speaking Saturday at Mahrer’s arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court, where Mahrer was ordered held on $150,000 bail, the Post reported.
According to the Daily News, Brown allegedly had a swastika armband and a large hunting knife when detained, and police recovered a firearm at Mahrer’s home. The Daily News, quoting police sources, said Mahrer’s mother had been “cooperative.”
Brown was traced through online threats he allegedly made, uncovered by “the FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force, NYPD Counterterrorism and Intelligence Bureau investigators, working with their law enforcement partners,” Sewell said.
A CNN report said law enforcement officials began tracing anti-semitic threats that appeared on a Twitter account on November 12, “and were traced late Friday to a computer at a veterinary clinic where one of the suspects worked.” According to CNN, the threats allegedly referenced attacking a synagogue; CNN said one post read: “Gonna ask a priest if I should become a husband or shoot up a synagogue and die.”
Investigators were tipped off to Mahrer’s address by “a suspect’s friend,” CNN reported. When they went there, they “learned the two suspects had been there and dropped off a backpack, and were on their way to Penn Station.” The backpack contained “an illegal Glock 17 firearm and 30-round magazine, and several other items,” Commissioner Sewell said.
Assistant District Attorney Emilio Hernandez told the Post that Mahrer’s mother had “alerted police officers to the existence of a firearm within the backpack of the defendant inside the defendant’s apartment.”
Mahrer’s parents were present for his arraignment. Outside the courtroom, his mother told the Post “’He’s not what they are saying he is.’” The Post said his father declined to comment.
As the investigation continues, “Police Department commanders are strategically deploying assets at sensitive locations throughout New York City,” Commissioner Sewell’s statement added.
I wonder how the lunatic from West 94 Street met the lunatic from Aquebogue.
Perhaps it’s a location, real or on line, where similar lunatics gather and can be identified?
A tragedy was averted from these mentally ill psychos. Please, please lock them up for a long time.
It is hard to comprehend that a grandson of a Holocaust survivor can be involved in some as horrific as this. Either he is not all there (plausible given the fact he lives with his parents) or there’s more to the story.
“…plausible given the fact he lives with his parents…”
He’s 22. A whole lot of 22-year-olds are still living with their parents; that doesn’t make them “not all there.” And why would you presume being the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor mean that someone is incapable of doing evil things?
Re: “Either he is not all there … or there’s more to the story. ”
OR he was influenced by the recent antisemitic rants by both Kanye West AND Kyrie Irving, basketball “stars” who are seen as “heroes” to the 20-something cohort.
Yeah, both West and Irving have “apologized”, which we all know that means “I’ll say whatever it takes to make this thing go away, but my apology is just for show”
Many of us would be surprised if people who wear Nazi armbands were taking cues from Kanye West AND Kylie Irving.
As eloquently satirized (satyrized) by Dave Chapelle, who is another willing part of the problem. Whatever points he ever makes that I agree with, are “cancelled” by his obvious disdain for “the other.” Ironic, that.
Kanye West is not a basketball player. And he’s not a hero to the Gen Z “cohort”—that’s an unfairly broad brush you’re using. Many actual twentysomethings are horrified by his recent comments.
However horrible Kanye’s and Kyrie’s statements are, they are not Jewish and not descendants of Holocaust survivors.
It is truly mind-blowing that Mahrer got involved in this considering his background. Possibly serious mental issues, same as West.
Don’t forget Dave Chappelle, who cleverly defended Kanye.
I hope these guy get the mental health help they need. Sad but glad they caught them.
This sounds like a real tragedy for the family, but maybe the grandson was just off-balance, or looking to inform on the potential perp.
Self-hate happens, probably more often than we know…
“Daniel Burros (March 5, 1937 – October 31, 1965) was a Jewish American who was a former member of the American Nazi Party. Later, after a falling-out with founder George Lincoln Rockwell, Burros became a Kleagle, or recruiter, for the New York State branch of the United Klans of America, the most violent Klan group of the time.
Burros killed himself on October 31, 1965, hours after his Jewish heritage was made public, shooting himself in the chest and then the head.”
He was from Queens, where he had a Bar Mitzvah at Talmud Torah.
Immortalized in the Rosenthal/Gelb book “One More Victim”, and also in a Lou Grant episode…
We need to be thankful to this man’s mother for her vigilance and cooperation with the authorities. She knew something was not right.
Poor family, probably had no idea that their son was this nuts. What a sad thanksgiving dinner, if at all, they’ll have.
So glad no one got hurt
Hate speech on social media + Illegal guns + Right wing extremism = This is what you get.
Say a prayer for the families in Colorado Springs. They weren’t the lucky ones this week.
When WCBS radio reported this story, they cedited a group that monitors threats on social media as to informing authorities. Anyone know that group? Would like to support.
CBS quoted the Community Security Initiative (CSI) under the auspices of the UJA Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council of New York .
Thank you so much.
Zero compassion for these punks. I don’t care about their mental health. I reserve my compassion for the one idiot’s mom and thank her for her cooperation. I’m sorry her son is such a vile stain.