Peter Weyand, 33, on Friday morning broke into the Washington Heights Schottenstein Residence of Yeshiva University and set three fires to the building using matches that were intended for use Sunday night to light Chanukah candles, city Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro reported.
A man is seen on a security video kicking in the glass door of the dormitory and getting inside.
The fires were set while YU students were sleeping in their dorm rooms. Firefighters were alerted at 3:50 AM Friday to a fire on the first floor, and arrived in five minutes. They quickly brought the fire under control and verified there were no injuries to the students or to the FDNY firefighters.
Weyand was charged with arson, burglary with criminal intent, reckless endangerment of property, criminal mischief, criminal trespass and aggravated harassment, but for now police have not added the charge of a hate crime.
But Commissioner Nigro stated that “attacking any religious institution is a serious crime and we have zero tolerance for acts of arson in this city. Thanks to the thorough investigative work of our Fire Marshals, a dangerous individual has been quickly apprehended.”