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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
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Security Guard Arrested for Vandalizing Memphis Yeshiva Torah

By: JTA

A Memphis yeshiva’s Shabbat retreat was disrupted when a hotel security guard was arrested for vandalizing a Torah scroll and other property belonging to the school.

Justin Shawn Baker, 24, an Iraqi War veteran living in Jackson, Tenn., was arrested and charged with vandalism of up to $250 thousand – a Class B felony. His bail was set Monday at $100 thousans. Baker is an armed guard working for the Maxxguard security firm.

On Saturday morning, local police and later federal law enforcement were called to the DoubleTree Motel in Jackson to investigate a damaged Torah scroll, siddurim and music equipment belonging to the Margolin Hebrew Academy’s Cooper Yeshiva High School.

Approximately 50 high school students and faculty were spending Shabbat at the motel on their way to a ski trip in the Smoky Mountains.

A MySpace profile page belonging to Baker and one belonging to a woman who identifies herself as Baker’s wife make references to Satan, though neither page has been in use for at least three years.

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