Tempe man arrested for antisemitic email threatening to execute Scottsdale rabbi
Nov 7, 2023, 4:25 AM | Updated: 6:07 am
PHOENIX — The FBI arrested an Arizona man Saturday morning on a federal complaint and arrest warrant for allegedly making a threat to execute a Valley rabbi and “every other JEW [sic] I can find tonight at midnight of your Sabbath.”
The complaint alleges 47-year-old Jeffrey Mindock of Tempe sent an antisemitic email Friday to a rabbi at a Scottsdale synagogue. The email asked the rabbi to “try to convince” a Utah judge to “drop the charges against” Mindock in a state district court case.
“If you do not use your influence to right this wrong I will execute you and every other JEW [sic] I can find tonight at midnight of your Sabbath.” the email stated. “If you wish to communicate with me further, I will only meet in person,” listed an address for the sender in Tempe, and was signed, “Shalom, Viktor Sitkevicz.”
Antisemitism rose in the U.S. in 2022 after a record year of incidents in 2021. Muslim and Jewish civil rights groups said they’ve seen a rise in harassment reports against members of their communities since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.
More allegations of threats
The complaint also alleges Mindock’s address was listed in the motor vehicle records as the same Tempe address listed in the email. In addition, the threatening behavior by Mindock extends to a prior email threat to “hang” a judge. The message was sent from the email addresses containing “sitkevicz” or “mindock.” Another threat made during a previous court appearance in 2021 to “execute” others, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
“We have no tolerance for those who send threatening communications to Jewish faith leaders or to any other people in America,” Gary Restaino, U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona, said in a press release.
“We will continue to exercise our prosecutorial discretion and deploy our resources to charge threats cases here in Arizona.”
The FBI stresses that it takes all threats of violence seriously.
“The FBI and our law enforcement partners must take people who make threats at their word and intervene, because protecting human life is our absolute priority,” Chad Alvarado, acting special agent in charge of the FBI Phoenix Field Office, said in a press release.
The case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Tempe Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona is handling the prosecution.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.