A Pennsylvania doctor was taken into custody last week after allegedly sending flyers with antisemitic threats to her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend and setting the girlfriend’s grandmother’s home on fire, Lower Merion police said.
Dr. Amy Cohen, 35, was arrested on 24 charges, including aggravated arson and ethnic intimidation, after allegedly setting fire to the Lower Merion Township home of the 99-year-old woman last month, according to court records.
Police said the investigation began on Nov. 24, when the grandmother told police officers that she had been receiving flyers with “antisemitic language” that contained specific threats against her granddaughter, who did not live with her in the Philadelphia suburb.
Investigators later learned that other family members in the state received similar flyers, according to the news release.
Local news outlet Philly Voice, citing court documents, reported that the flyer featured photos of the victim’s granddaughters with their eyes crossed out, warning them to “quit their jobs and move out of Pennsylvania.”
One of the granddaughters told investigators she had recently shared a pro-Israel statement online. Her parents received flyers that used antisemitic language and accused their daughters of “promoting Islamophobia,” according to Philly Voice.
Almost a week after the investigation began, officers returned to the grandmother’s home, where she’d had security cameras installed, according to police.
Video footage allegedly showed a white woman, believed to be Cohen, intentionally setting fire to the front porch at 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 30.
The woman was asleep in her home while Cohen sprayed flammable liquid into the fire to accelerate it, though it eventually burned out, police reported.
Evidence from the scene led investigators to identify Cohen as the suspect. Police said she had been in a relationship with a man who was dating one of the victim’s granddaughters.
According to Law and Crime, citing a police affidavit, the boyfriend told officers that he began dating the granddaughter in June and had been seeing other people before the two became exclusive months later.
The boyfriend said he broke up with Cohen after dating her for about six months, adding that she “did not take it well,” according to Law and Crime.
A search warrant was served on Dec. 1 at Cohen’s home, where detectives said they found evidence connected to the flyers and the fire.
According to Law and Crime, police went to Bryn Mawr Hospital, where Cohen works as an infectious disease specialist. There they said theyfound Cohen wearing a black headband similar to the one seen on the woman shown setting a fire in the security camera footage.
Police also said she had a note pad with the names of several elementary schools in the Philadelphia area. Her ex’s girlfriend worked as a elementary school teacher, according to Law and Crime.
A spokesperson for Main Line Health, the company that runs Bryn Mawr Hospital, told HuffPost that Cohen had been “an affiliate physician and is not employed by Main Line Health.”