Would-be NYC arsonist botches attempt to burn US, Israeli flags

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A bungling would-be-arsonist was captured on video botching his attempt to set fire to an American flag and an Israeli flag hanging outside a kosher eatery in New York City.

The hateful act, which was captured on CCTV, was released on Friday by the NYPD, who say they are searching for the suspect and investigating the incident as a hate crime. 

The brazen suspect can be seen in the video standing on a chair outside Falafel Crunch in Upper Manhattan on Feb. 24 at around 2:50 p.m. The pita shop is on Amsterdam Avenue and about a block from Yeshiva University, a Jewish institution for higher education that is nearly 100 years old.

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With a lighter and a can of aerosol in hand, he sprays a flame toward the flags.

However, the flame fails to reach the flags, so he hops on a small table for a second attempt, but the table spins around, and he quickly loses his balance.

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He then jumps off the table while grabbing both flags, which can be seen breaking off and falling to the ground.

Police say the suspect then fled the scene in a black sedan northbound on Amsterdam Avenue. 

The suspect is described as having a light complexion with a slim build and between 18 and 25 years of age.

He is around 5 feet, 6 inches tall and was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and white sneakers.

This incident is being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force. No injuries were reported as a result of this incident.

In November, Pro-Palestinian protesters were seen on the streets of New York City burning the Israeli flag and ripping down posters intended to help find those kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in Israel.

American Jews have become the targets of increased antisemitic hate since Israel mounted its response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attacks.

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