‘Extremely disturbing’: Indianapolis woman charged in attempted attack on Jewish community
Woman charged with targeting Indianapolis Jewish community
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — New court documents shed light on the case against the Indianapolis woman who drove her car into a building in an attempted attack on the Jewish community.
Prosecutors accuse 34-year-old Ruba Almaghtheh of causing $10,000 worth of damage to the Israelite School of Universal and Practical Knowledge, 3532 N. Keystone Ave., when she purposefully drove into the building on Saturday.
The building, which has a Star of David on its door, was identified by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Indianapolis as belonging to and representing a sect of the Black Hebrew Israelites, which is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Indianapolis police say Almaghteh told them she “couldn’t breathe” while watching the war unfold in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas.
That’s when investigators allege Almaghtheh began to plan her attack.
According to a probable cause affidavit obtained by News 8, a witness saw Almaghtheh’s car go into reverse and back into the building.
A witness told police he tried to help the woman after she crashed into the building but then heard her shout, “Free Palestine, Free Palestine!” and says she “accused him of sending money to keep ‘her people’ oppressed.”
All five people inside the building, including two adults and three children, escaped injury.
Almaghtheh’s attorney told reporters on Wednesday that “his client doesn’t remember driving into the building” and that “she experienced an ‘episode possibly due to several medications and the stress of a pending divorce while caring for her three children.’”
Court documents call the crash a hate crime, but there’s no criminal charge for hate crimes in Indiana.
In a statement, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said in part, “The allegations in the probable cause affidavit are extremely disturbing. We cannot and will not tolerate hate in our community.”
Almaghtheh is being held at the Marion County Jail on a $200,000 bond. Once she bonds out, she must stay away from synagogues, temples, and other Jewish religious and cultural centers in Marion County.
A jury trial is set for Jan. 29.