Berkeley police arrest man for alleged hate crime at synagogue

Photo of hate crime arrest location
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UC Berkeley alumnus Anatoly Smolkin was arrested by Berkeley Police Department officers on suspicion of a hate crime.

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Berkeley Police Department officers arrested a man on suspicion of a hate crime after he yelled antisemitic statements at a Berkeley synagogue Aug. 7.

Anatoly Smolkin, a 37-year-old man and UC Berkeley alumnus, allegedly entered the Congregation Netivot Shalom, a synagogue on University Avenue, at noon and interrupted its morning service with threats of violence against Jewish people, according to a Berkeley press release.

Police later located Smolkin, who is also a disbarred attorney, in front of Chabad House, a synagogue half a mile up on University Avenue, where he was yelling after he had been refused entry, the press release added.

“The commission of a hate crime is a serious offense, which will not be tolerated in the City of Berkeley,” the press release reads.

Contact Annika Kim Constantino at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaKimC.