NEW YORK: An 11-year-old boy has been charged with hate crimes and police were searching for five other youths suspected of helping torch a school bus outside a Jewish school in Brooklyn, a spokeswoman for the New York Police Department said on Tuesday.
Surveillance video showed six youths packing cardboard into the yellow school bus parked outside Beth Rivkah, a private girls school, in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn on Sunday night. Moments after they exited the bus, a blaze erupted inside and the vehicle was soon engulfed in flames, the video showed.
Following an investigation by the NYPD hate crimes task force, the boy, described as 11 years old and black, was charged on Monday with criminal mischief and arson, both as a hate crime, said Detective Annette Shelton.
Racial tensions between Orthodox Jews and African Americans in Crown Heights have flared over the years but recently have eased as the neighborhood, like much of Brooklyn, has become more gentrified.
Police on Tuesday sought five other black youths in the arson crime, and released their photos from the video in their request for information from the public.
Authorities said no one was hurt in the incident but the bus was damaged.