A federal judge determined on Wednesday that a homeless man accused of torching a Brooklyn synagogue and damaging a church crucifix last year is mentally unfit to stand trial.
According to Brooklyn U.S. District Court Judge Rachel Kovner’s decision, Ali Alaheri, 30, will be hospitalized for 90 days in a mental health facility before being reassessed for competency, according to Brooklyn U.S. District Court Judge Rachel Kovner’s decision.
The judge decided that if he didn’t take his medication, the court would consider whether he needed “involuntary treatment.”
In an early-morning rant on May 14, 2021, he allegedly destroyed a statue of Jesus Christ attached to a wooden crucifix outside St. Athanasius Roman Catholic Church in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, torched an American flag, and tore down a fence.
Federal prosecutors claim that Alaheri stacked trash bags against the side of a Borough Park synagogue and yeshiva on 36th St. near 11th Ave. and set them on fire five days later.
The officials claim that he repeatedly attacked a man outside an auto body shop close to the temple the next day dressed in traditional Jewish costume.
Authorities think Alaheri was dozing off inside a car parked close to the synagogue. He was charged with one count of arson in Brooklyn Federal Court last year.