By Diana Rocco
BROOKLYN, New York (WABC) — A woman caught on camera lighting a Jewish school on fire was arrested and charged Sunday.
Police say 39-year-old Brooklyn resident Sharee Jones was charged with reckless endangerment as a hate crime and arson.
The incident happened on Thursday at 7:27 p.m. at the Yeshiva of Flatbush on Avenue J.
The woman was seen dressed all in black and carrying a red gasoline can.
Police say she walked up to the Yeshiva, doused the area in gasoline, and lit it on fire.
A security guard inside the school saw what was going on and he was able to put out the fire with water.
NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force investigated the fire.
They also investigated whether the woman captured on surveillance is the same woman spotted shortly before the fire, carrying a red gas canister and yelling through a megaphone, on Nostrand Avenue and Ave J.
Fortunately, no one was injured in this incident.
Yeshiva of Flatbush Rabbi Joseph Beyda believes the incident could be teachable moment for the students.
“I think you’re, you’re right to say it’s a teachable moment for all of us, and of what kind of city we want to have, and what it takes to educate, so, yeah,” he said.
Midwood is said to be home to the largest community of Holocaust survivors outside the state of Israel. The arson fire outside the local yeshiva left residents badly shaken.
“As a result of occurrences like this, it just adds to the fire-if I dare say-of these occurrences happening and happening and other times when people do know what they’re doing. That’s what we’re worried about,” New York State Senator Simcha Felder said.
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