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Teen Accused of LES Synagogue Arson Released Without Charges, City Says

By Allegra Hobbs | May 18, 2017 9:19am | Updated on May 18, 2017 9:51am
 Firefighters battle a fire in an unoccupied synagogue on the Lower East Side on Sunday.
Firefighters battle a fire in an unoccupied synagogue on the Lower East Side on Sunday.
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FDNY

LOWER EAST SIDE — The 14-year-old boy arrested for setting fire to a historic Lower East Side synagogue was released Wednesday with no charges — though prosecutors could still decide to bring charges against him at a future date, according to the city's Law Department.

The teen, whose name has not been released because he is a minor, was arrested Tuesday night and charged by police with third-degree arson for starting the blaze that largely destroyed the Beth Hamedrash Hagodol at 62 Norfolk St.

But he was released the next day as prosecutors with the city's Law Department continues its investigation and determines whether they will pursue charges against the boy, the department confirmed.

He was released into his mother's care, according to a law enforcement source.

He is due back in family court, which handles juvenile cases, on May 31, at which time prosecutors will determine the next steps.

The teen was one of three young people caught on video fleeing the scene around the time of the fire — the other two are only considered witnesses, NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said Wednesday.

READ MORE:

►'Suspicious' Footage Shows 3 Fleeing Area Near Synagogue That Burned: NYPD

Historic LES Synagogue Fire Believed to Be Arson, NYPD Says

►Fire Tears Through Historic Beth Hamedrash Hagodol Synagogue on LES: FDNY