a man with a goatee wearing sunglasses with a grim facial expression
Andrew Richard Casarez (Photo/Facebook)

Police confirm alleged neo-Nazi leader is suspect in Sacramento synagogue vandalism incident

UPDATED July 29 at 11:43 a.m.

A Sacramento-based alleged neo-Nazi is a suspect in a 2017 vandalism incident at Temple Or Rishon, police told J. on Wednesday.

Andrew Richard Casarez, a 27-year-old pizza delivery driver who lives in the Sacramento suburb of Orangevale, leads an online neo-Nazi group called the “Bowl Patrol,” a reference to the hairstyle of convicted mass murderer and white supremacist Dylann Roof, whom they idolize.

In November 2017, a dozen antisemitic fliers were found pasted onto the exterior of Temple Or Rishon in Orangevale. “Hitler, Rockwell and Pierce warned you about sleazy Hollywood,” the fliers read, showing a picture of Harvey Weinstein, the Jewish film producer who at the time had just been accused of widespread sexual assault.

Casarez has been under investigation by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office for at least three weeks, J. reported on Monday. On July 13, the sheriff’s department filed a gun-violence restraining order against Casarez and seized a handgun from his home two days later. Officers filed the GVRO after Casarez was publicly exposed in a blog post by the Anonymous Comrades Collective, a group of anti-fascist researchers.

Officers were concerned that after being exposed, Casarez would “feel forced to react and/or carry out acts of violence based on his ideology,” Sgt. Teresa Deterding said.

When reached for comment about Casarez’s suspected connection to the vandalism, Rabbi Alan Rabishaw of Or Rishon referred J. to the county sheriff’s office.

Anti-Semitic poster that appeared at Temple Or Rishon near Sacramento, Nov. 2017
Antisemitic poster that appeared at Temple Or Rishon near Sacramento, Nov. 2017

The investigation of Casarez is ongoing with “federal and state partners,” said Deterding, who declined to specify which agencies were involved. An additional hearing on the GVRO is scheduled for Aug. 13 in Sacramento County.

“If the allegations are true, ADL is deeply concerned about the presence of an extremist in the Sacramento area who glorifies the mass murderer of black parishioners, threatens the Jewish community and first responders, possessed firearms and then intimidated a synagogue,” said Seth Brysk, the Anti-Defamation League’s regional director for the Central Pacific. “We are grateful that the Sacramento County Sheriff is investigating these reports.”

A July 24 investigation by the Huffington Post suggested that Casarez was linked to the synagogue vandalism after reporting that he had commented and celebrated them online.

According to the Huffington Post, some members of Casarez’s “Bowl Patrol” have been arrested “in connection with threats or plans of real-world violence in Roof’s name.” Roof killed nine Black parishioners at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. Casarez has expressed white supremacist and antisemitic views online and in a podcast. Using the pseudonym “Vic Mackey,” in a 2018 episode of the podcast “Bowlcast” he reportedly said the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue was a “wonderful thing” and called Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, a “saint.”

Gabriel Greschler

Gabriel Greschler is a staff writer at J. You can reach him at gabriel@jweekly.com and follow him on Twitter @ggreschler.