Man this shit pisses me off. What's woth all the hatred against Jews here in the USA? I came across this old story of what I would myself consider a hate crime, but the idiot who did it got out lucky. It happened in San Francisco, no less, which is supposed to be the most tolerant city in the USA.

The story:

A 26-year-old man pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of criminal damage to property for his part in damaging a West Ridge synagogue in December 2009.

Servando Beiza, of the 6500 block of North Francisco, was given one year of probation and ordered to pay $1,000 in restitution to the Anshe Motele Congregation at 6526 N. California Ave.

“You’re lucky this isn’t a hate crime because you’d be in a penitentiary right now,” Cook County Judge Marvin Luckman told Beiza.

Rabbis and members of various West Ridge congregations, along with Ald. Berny Stone (50th), crowded into the courtroom at Cook County Court Branch 29 at Belmont and Western on Wednesday afternoon.

Synagogue members arrived in the early morning hours of Dec. 5, 2009 to open the synagogue for morning worship, only to discover that the sanctuary windows had been shattered. According to Anshe Motele’s security video, the break-in had started at 5:55 a.m. and ended at 6:38 a.m. One of the congregation’s elderly members, a Holocaust survivor, missed running into the perpetrators by ten seconds.

Beiza was identified from video taken by the synagogue’s security system that had just been installed the month before. Anshe Motele, along with other West Ridge synagogues, had been targeted in a hate-crime spree in January 2009, when a man spray-painted anti-Israel graffiti on the synagogue’s corner stone. Although Anshe Motele had the graffiti removed by the city’s graffiti-blasters, the hate message is still faintly visible. Prior to that attack, vandals tore down the synagogue’s awning.

The West Ridge man was originally charged with attempted burglary, but had pled guilty to a lesser charge of criminal damage to property. Nothing was stolen from the synagogue and members believe that a neighbor, who alerted police when he heard someone attempting to break the synagogue’s tempered-glass window for 20 minutes, may have interrupted a burglary. Beiza is said to have fled when police arrived.

Standing before Judge Luckman on Wednesday, Beiza apologized to Rabbi Alan Abramson and other members of West Ridge’s Jewish community.

“I was foolish, I was fooling around,” Beiza said.

Beiza made no mention if others were involved in the break-in in December 2009, when he was caught on video falling through sanctuary window. Members of the congregation said that at least four or five other males were captured on security video attempting to break into the synagogue.

Asked if he understood the implications of pleading guilty, Beiza responded that he did. Luckman told him that if was not a U.S. citizen a guilty plea could mean immediate deportation. Beiza’s attorney, Susan Ehrlich, told the judge that her client was a U.S. citizen.

“You got a king-sized break,” Luckman told Beiza.

Beiza was sentenced to one year’s probation, and has until May 4, 2011, to pay $1,000 in restitution to the congregation. Beiza has 30 days to withdraw his guilty plea and opt for a jury trial.

Ehrlich said the Beiza was gainfully employed, and hopes to pay back the synagogue in a few months. Beiza left the courtroom smiling.

Outside the courtroom, Abramson said he was satisfied with the results.

“I thought the judge was very eloquent,” the rabbi said. “I accept Mr. Beiza’s apology, but time will tell if he was truly repentant. I hope for his sake that he is.”

Other members of West Ridge’s Jewish community expressed their appreciation to Stone, the Chicago City Council’s only Jewish alderman, for coming to the hearing.

“It was a pleasant surprise to our standpoint,” said Robert Kandelman.

Kandelman, who said that his West Ridge synagogue has also been vandalized and attacked in a hate crime, has recently installed a security camera system.

“Even if I wasn’t from the immediate area, I would still be here today,” Kandelman said. “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”

I. Moshe Hubscher, Anshe Motele’s security officer, still wasn’t satisfied with the results of Beiza’s plea.

“I thought the judge was lenient,” he said.