Man ordered to Pikesville rehab after hate crime conviction charged with attempted murder

A 25-year-old Northeast Baltimore man convicted two years ago for vandalizing a synagogue, has been charged with attemped murder after police said he attacked two men with knives in the Upper Fells Point area, severely injuring one of them. 

Ian Baron. who was arrested and charged on Wednesday, has been in trouble before. In 2010, the Latino-born, Jewish-raised man was charged with causing $25,000 worth of damage to a Jewish temple in his hometown of Olney, Md. He had neo-Nazi tattoos, lived in a shack with "Whites Only!" painted on the front door, and had scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti on the B'nai Shalom Synagogue, according to the Washington Post.

Baron's parents told Washington Jewish Week that he was a devout Jew whose behavior became erratic and violent during bouts of alcohol abuse. 

Attending treatment in the Baltimore area was a condition of Baron's conviction in that case - he received a three-year prison sentence with a year and six months suspended in the synagogue attack, and was ordered to pay $24,000 restitution. As part of his five-year probation, he was ordered to spend a minimum of one year in substance abuse treatment at the Jewish Recovery Houses in Pikesville.

"I'm running out of chances," Baron said at his sentencing hearing, according to The Gazette.

Baltimore Police say on March 12, a man flagged down officers and said he had been cut on the back while in the 1700 block of Bank Street, and directed officers to Baron. Southeast District detectives then linked Baron to a March 2 attack in the 1600 block of E. Lombard St., in Washington Hill, where a 22-year-old man had been slashed several times in a robbery of his cell phone. 

Sgt. Eric Kowalczyk, a city police spokesman, said detectives identified Baron as the suspect in that case, and court records show he has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, robbery, and other charges. The records show he is being held without bond. 

Baron was born in Honduras and adopted by Jewish parents. At his sentencing hearing, his mother and father discussed his alcohol and drug dependency issues. During a night of drinking one night, he returned home with an "SS" lightning bolt tattoo, which he wanted removed. In jail, he ate Kosher meals, according to one report, though he also wrote anti-Semitic letters. 

"My son's an alcoholic. I'm stating it as fact, not as an excuse for his behavior," his mother said, according to the Gazette. 

A phone call to Baron's parents was not immediately returned.

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