The son of a North Carolina Court of Appeals judge was arrested Sunday after he allegedly threatened a synagogue.
William Warden, 20, also burned a cross in a local park, the Charlotte News & Observer reported.
On Saturday night, Warden rang the smart doorbell of Congregation of Shaarei Shalom in Cary, North Carolina. When a synagogue official remotely answered the bell, Warden made a “number of disparaging statements against the Jewish religion and people of the Jewish faith,” police told the newspaper. He also threatened to damage the synagogue, according to the report.
Warden was arrested Sunday night and charged with misdemeanor ethnic intimidation. For the cross burning, which occurred last month, he also was charged with a misdemeanor.
Police also suspect Warden of being responsible for recent anti-Semitic fliers that were distributed in a nearby subdivision, according to the report.
Warden’s bail was set at $20,000 and he was ordered not to go within 100 yards of the synagogue.
Judge Lucy Inman and her husband, Billy Warden, in a statement released to local media said that their son has a mental illness for which they have sought and continue to seek treatment.
“As deeply concerned parents, we apologize profusely to the Jewish community and to all who have been impacted. And we are treating this situation with utmost seriousness,” they said.
“Our observations and our communications with law enforcement lead us to believe that our son has been exploited by people whose agenda is completely opposed to the inclusive values we espouse and live.”
Inman has been an appellate court judge since 2014 and is not up for re-election until 2022.