Hillcrest man charged with hate crime, accused of scribbling swastikas at Monsey Synagogue

RAMAPO — A Hillcrest man has been charged with scribbling swastikas and hate speech at a synagogue in Monsey.

Ramapo police said Monday they arrested the 32-year-old man accused of damaging the Suzanne Drive synagogue on the evening of Friday June 17. The man was not affiliated with the synagogue but was a temporary worker there, so he had access to the building, Detective Lt. Chris Franklin said.

The vandalism was discovered two days later. It was not immediately clear what the suspect’s motivation might have been.

Police said swastikas, apparently scribbled on with a ballpoint pen, were found behind a coat rack and under a counter at the synagogue. A computer screen was also damaged, police said.

“I am appalled at the anti-Semitic vandalism discovered inside a synagogue in Monsey,” Rockland County Executive Ed Day said at the time, adding that “any act of hate is an insult to the whole of our county and will not be tolerated”.

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Wilbur Aldridge, regional director for the NAACP’s Mid-Hudson and Westchester regions, said at the time, “Certainly we think it’s despicable. And until we start criminalizing some of these acts, I fear, unfortunately, that they will continue. But we must certainly denounce hatred at all times.

The Hillcrest man faces felony charges of first degree aggravated harassment and fourth degree criminal mischief as a hate crime. He was arrested on Friday and released without bail on Saturday, pending a future appearance in Ramapo City Court.

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This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Monsey Synagogue: Hillcrest man charged with scribbling swastikas

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