Man Tries to Torch Synagogue

January 10, 2003 -- A 22-year-old Bosnian Muslim allegedly doused the door of a Brooklyn synagogue with gallons of gas during a rampage yesterday, but was arrested before he could set it on fire. Police said Sead Jakup, an apprentice laborer in the water and sewer division of the city's Department of Environmental Protection, was being investigated for a possible bias crime against the Young Israel of Kings Bay Synagogue on Ocean Avenue.

According to Amoco station attendant Syed Ali, the suspect strolled into his gas station with a paint bucket and demanded gas around 4 a.m. When Ali told him it was illegal to pump gas into the paint bucket, the suspect bought a $10 safety container, but only $2 worth of gas.

Twenty minutes later he returned for a refill. That's when Ali saw what he was doing.

"He runs across the street and sprays the gas all over the door to the synagogue," Ali said. "I freaked out and called 911."

Ali said Jakup then ran back again for a third time.

"He grabs the hose himself and pumps more gas into the container . . . and sprays the synagogue again," Ali said.

When Jakup returned for a fourth time, Ali refused to sell him any more, cops said. Jakup then allegedly picked up a garbage can and threatened to smash the gas station security door.

Police arrested him as he was about to break down the door.

Police said Jakup was charged with arson, criminal mischief and aggravated harassment.

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