Daniel Fischer of New Haven, Connecticut has been granted “accelerated rehabilitation” after he and co-defendant Gregory Williams terrorized an event at a Connecticut synagogue on May 12.
Fischer has been ordered to stay away from Westport's Temple Israel and not to contact anyone from the synagogue. If the 18 month long program and 25 hours of community service are successfully completed, the charges against him will be dismissed. Both Fischer and Williams are currently free on $1,500 bond.
Gregory Williams, 25 has an existing criminal record, and was not eligible for the program. He has been charged with criminal trespass first-degree and breach of peace second-degree, and will return to court on Oct. 15.
An attorney for Temple Israel, Bruce Koffsky, who was present in court, submitted a letter from the Temple supporting Fischer’s AR request.
The letter outlined the events of May 12, in which some congregants huddled under luncheon tables or fled the synagogue in panic as Fischer and Williams began shouting and banging on a door as they sought to enter a dining hall.
“Mr. Fischer should be made to understand that his ‘political’ stunt caused panic and fear for both Temple Israel’s staff and guests and has caused Temple Israel to increase its security precautions – and as a result, its expenses,” the letter said. “This was not a victimless crime.”
The letter continued: “We say all the above with the understanding that Daniel Fischer has no criminal record, appears to be eligible for the AR Program and has been charged with misdemeanor offenses.
“That being the case, Temple Israel does not object to the granting of the AR Program for Mr. Fischer provided he engage in substantial community service where he can put his passionate support for the less fortunate to better use.
“Additionally, we would respectfully request that additional conditions of the defendant’s AR be that he not enter or go on Temple Israel property, not contact Temple staff or congregants and that he not attempt to participate in Temple Israel activities.”