Breaking News
More () »

Denver's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Denver, Colorado | 9NEWS.com

Two Swastikas spray-painted on Denver synagogue, one man in custody

Denver police responded to reports of graffiti on Church in the City Beth Abraham around 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.

DENVER — Denver police arrested a man who they say painted Swastikas on a synagogue.

On Wednesday morning, Harold Sanchez was driving to the Church in the City Beth Abraham in Denver to cook meals for people experiencing homelessness when he noticed a symbol on the side of the synagogue.

"It's sad, it's just tragic," he said about the two swastikas spray-painted on the bricks.

As the coordinator for the homeless ministries and a member of the congregation himself, he said his heart hurt.

“Our Jewish community has already suffered greatly, and my heart goes out to them," Sanchez said through tears.

Sanchez called police after he saw the swastikas. Officers said they arrested a man shortly after 8 a.m. as he was walking out of the synagogue.

According to the arrest affidavit, Frank Maya had a graffiti marker on him and paint on his hands and feet.

Police said when they tried to arrest him, he resisted and injured an officer.

Maya is being investigated for criminal mischief, bias-motivated crime and assault of a peace officer.

“We’re loving people here," said the Pastor Michael Walker. "We’re caring for the poor and the needy. And for someone to just come and attack us. I felt like it was almost a personal attack on me being a Jewish pastor here.”

The symbols of hate will be washed away soon.

“Someone shows you hatred," Pastor Walker said. "We want to show them love."

At this synagogue, there are two types of Judaism, and Pastor Walker practices Messianic Judaism which is why he is referred to as a pastor and not a rabbi. 

SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Local stories from 9NEWS