NEWS RELEASE 20-087 - JULY 24, 2020
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is charging a 21-year-old Sarasota man in connection with recent anti-Semitic graffiti at two Jewish temples in Sarasota.
Detectives launched their investigation on April 2 when security cameras captured an unidentified man spray-painting multiple swastikas on exterior walls of Temple Emanu-El located at 151 McIntosh Road. In similar incidents in the early morning hours on July 15, a man was again seen in video surveillance spray-painting several swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti at Temple Emanu-El as well as Temple Sinai at 4631 South Lockwood Ridge Road. Following the release of images and video from each incident through the sheriff’s office social media accounts, detectives received information identifying Vincent Martinez, DOB 06/27/99, as a possible suspect. The investigation revealed Martinez used a nearby ATM shortly after the first incident wearing the same clothing seen in security footage. Detectives also linked him to the second two incidents through cell phone records.
“The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office takes hate crimes such as these very seriously,” commented Colonel Kurt A. Hoffman. “Our detectives worked tirelessly with help from the community to bring this case to a successful conclusion.”
Martinez faces three counts of Criminal Mischief by Defacing and Damaging a Synagogue, all classified as felony hate crimes. He is currently at a secure medical facility pending his arrest on warrants issued Wednesday.