Police arrest Jewish man harassing Jewish congregation - CBS46 News

Police arrest Jewish man harassing Jewish congregation

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SANDY SPRINGS, GA (CBS46) -

Sandy Springs police arrested a man who has been harassing a local Jewish congregation.

Charles B. Cortell (aka Charles Baruk Shwartz), who is Jewish, is accused of contacting the director of Congregation Beth Tefillah, some of the synagogue members and one of the rabbis via phone, email and in-person visits.

Officers received a tip that Cortell was frequenting the area of Windsor Parkway in the south end of the city. Cortell's vehicle was spotted in the area and a traffic stop was conducted, according to Sandy Springs police. Cortell was taken into custody without incident late Friday morning. Cortell is charged with three counts of disorderly conduct.

Cortell's message, according to Sandy Springs police, is largely one of hatred toward the Jewish population, and paranoia about certain political and governmental facets. Cortell's behavior and messages have caused great concern to the local Jewish community, authorities said.

According to a Sandy Springs Police Department press release sent Thursday, the primary goal is to get Cortell in custody in an attempt to prevent any potential violence and for him to be psychologically evaluated/treated.

Though not yet clinically diagnosed, Cortell may have had a mental "break," according to those who know him and he seems to suffer delusions of grandeur and may be bipolar or schizophrenic, the release stated.

Additionally, police warned that Cortell may have been in possession of a weapon, which was seen previously in his trunk.

Cortell is now housed at the Alpharetta Jail.  

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