GREENPORT — A Columbia County woman has been charged with a hate crime after she allegedly threw pork chops at a Jewish synagogue.
Tara Rios, 47, of Hudson, was arraigned in Livingston Town Court on Saturday and charged with first-degree harassment as a hate crime, a class A misdemeanor.
Rios, on Jan. 9, between the hours of 5:23 p.m. and 3:28 a.m., threw a package of pork chops, a non-kosher food, onto the front steps of the Congregation Anshe Emeth, 240 Joslen Boulevard, causing pork fluids to be spilled onto its steps, according to a criminal complaint filed by state police with the Livingston Town Court.
Rios allegedly returned to the synagogue at about 3:28 a.m. Jan 10 to photograph the scene, police said.
“These acts caused the membership of Congregation Anshe Emeth to be in reasonable fear of further anti-Semitic acts which could result in physical injury,” according to the criminal complaint filed in Livingston Town Court by state police. Nobody was reported to be injured as a result of the alleged pork-throwing attack.
This is the first reported hate crime in the past decade in which someone was charged, according to Register-Star archives.
At the start of the arraignment, Columbia County Public Defender Shane Zoni expressed concern to the court about his client’s mental competency.
Rios declined to speak with the press about the incident after her arraignment.
Livingston Town Justice Harold Weaver Jr. barred Rios from going to the Jewish synagogue. Rios lives less than a quarter of a mile from the synagogue.
Rios was released on her own recognizance and is due back in Greenport Town Court on Monday at 3 p.m. Weaver warned Rios that she if she is alleged to commit any other crimes before her next court appearance Monday she would be jailed on bail.
Rabbi Daniel Fried, who has served Congregation Anshe Emeth since 1980, could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday.
Check back for more on this developing story.
To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.