A 37-year-old West Palm Beach man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly broke into a synagogue in the city last week and attacked an older man.
Police on Wedndesday arrested Jeremiah Lee Cummings on charges of robbery, burglary and battery on a person 65 or older. He remained in custody at the Palm Beach County Jail Monday in lieu of $50,000 bail.
The alleged incident happened shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday. Cummings’ accuser, a 70-year-old man, told police he was checking the Temple Beth El property on North Flagler Drive when he saw Cummings jump over a fence. The man said he had been checking on the property because of an issue with burglaries.
According to an arrest report, the man got into his pickup and drove to a neighboring street block, where he saw Cummings again. The man tried to photograph Cummings when Cummings charged at the vehicle, grabbed a bat from the rear of the older man’s truck and began beating the man after forcing him out of the vehicle, police said.
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Police said in their report that Cummings struck the man several times both with the bat and his hands, then took $520 in cash from the man’s shirt pocket before running away from the scene.
Officers responding to the area found a man matching Cummings’ description in the the area of 27th Street and Poinesettia Avenue. The man, who turned out be Cummings, told police he acted in self-defense and he alleged that the older man had attacked him with the bat. Cummings had a small amount of blood on his lip, but no other apparent injuries, police said.
The arrest report did not indicate whether anything was stolen from the synagogue.
The alleged victim told police he recognized Cummings from previous instances in which Cummings allegedly broke into the man’s vehicle.