NYC
04/11/2013 04:42 pm ET

Ruben Ubiles, Mezuzah Burning Suspect, Arrested On Hate Crime Charges

By Murray Weiss and Aidan Gardiner

NEW YORK CITY — Police have arrested a suspect on hate crime charges in connection with torching a dozen mezuzahs in Williamsburg this week.

Ruben Ubiles was charged with burglary as a hate crime, arson as a hate crime and criminal mischief as a hate crime, police said. He was also charged with reckless endangerment, arson and criminal mischief, not as hate crimes.

Ubiles — who has been arrested about 50 times, most recently for stabbing his girlfriend's foot — had been taken into custody Wednesday morning and brought to Brooklyn's 81st Precinct stationhouse in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where he was questioned about the burned religious objects.

He was held Thursday for violating an order of protection while cops continued to question him about the fires, sources said.

Cops escorted Ubiles from the stationhouse about 1:45 p.m. Thursday. Police confirmed the charges shortly afterward, saying surveillance video placed him in one of the buildings at the time of incident.

Ubiles was accused of torching 11 of the mezuzahs, which are affixed to door posts, inside of 85 Taylor St. on Monday and then another one within 130 Clymer St. the next day after cops spotted  him on security footage from one of the buildings.

The ornaments, called mezuzahs, contain parchment scrawled with Torah passages meant to bless the home.

"im going to get my name cleared," Ubiles wrote on Facebook Wednesday before cops got to him. "one thing i wouldnt do, aside from my history, im know for getting into fights~ NOT WASTING MY TIME ATTEMPTING TO DESTROY WHAT "THEY" CLAIM I HAVE TORCHED. IM KNOW FOR FIGHTING, NOT ARSON."

His profile page was taken down as of Thursday morning.

Ubiles's grandmother, whom he lives with, said Wednesday that cops had the wrong man because he was not anti-Semitic.

"He doesn’t have anything against Jewish people. He’s nice to them. They’re nice to him," said Betra Velasquez, 79. "They only got his picture. They don’t have film of him doing it. They don’t have no proof."

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

CONVERSATIONS