Police Probing Antisemitic Vandalism of Westchester County Home
Authorities are investigating the vandalism of a Jewish home in New York last month, JP Updates reported on Tuesday.
A Westchester County family found six swastikas and the word “Jews” spray-painted on the outside of their house, located in the village of Hastings-On Hudson, on Dec. 29.
Along with the swastikas, which covered the windows of the residence, were the remains of broken eggs.
Police are probing the “bias” aspect of the incident, but are inclined to believe that it might be a retaliatory act connected to a youth dispute, Police Chief Anthony Visalli said on Monday.
“We don’t believe this was random,” he said, adding that police had hit “dead ends” when they checked local shops to see if anyone had purchased green paint and eggs around the time of the vandalism and came up with no evidence.
Another house in the area was also vandalized, but without antisemitic symbols, so it is not being treated as a bias crime.
Hastings-on-Hudson Mayor Peter Swiderski said both incidents “had the feel of kids” involved, but stress that the attack against the Jewish family is unusual in the area.
“We have a reputation for tolerance and inclusiveness,” he said. “This is sad and disturbing, but there is no indication of something blossoming in our community.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said in a statement on Monday that it is shocked that such an incident took place in a town where “Jewish residents seldom experience antisemitism.”
“This ghastly swastika display represents an assault not just on this one home, but on the entire Westchester community,” said ADL New York Regional Director Evan R. Bernstein. “We are confident that law enforcement is diligently examining all the facts, and determining if the evidence supports a hate-crime charge.”
Bernstein urged elected officials to speak out against the antisemitic vandalism and “make it clear” that bigotry and antisemitism are not welcomed in Westchester County. He added, “This is a critical step in the wake of an incident of this nature when members of our community are singled out.”
The ADL, in partnership with local leaders in Hastings-on-Hudson, will participate in a community forum on Thursday, at which county residents will be invited to express their concerns about the attack and hear from public officials and faith leaders on efforts to address the situation.