One or more vandals on Friday set fire to several parked cars and scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti on nearby benches in Brooklyn, in what the police said was a hate crime in a heavily Jewish neighborhood, according to the New York Times.
The arson took place along Ocean Parkway in Midwood, between Avenue I and Avenue J, where three cars, a BMW, a Lexus and a Jaguar, were set on fire. Also, “KKK” was written on the side of a red van, the police said, and swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs were scrawled on benches.
“The violence – I’m calling it violence when you blow up three cars – adds a sickening dimension to this type of anti-Semitism,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who lives two blocks away. He said he regularly walked past the benches with his 90-year-old mother to Sabbath services.
“We walk down Ocean Parkway every single week,” Mr. Hikind said. “All I could think about was my mother sitting on a bench with a swastika. She survived Auschwitz.”
Authorities said that nazi swastikas and anti-semitic slurs were spray-painted on eight park benches, and “SS” — the initials of Hitler’s brutal Gestapo — and “f--k the Jews” was scrawled on a sidewalk that line the wide sidewalk along a stretch of Ocean Parkway between Avenue I and Avenue J. The Parkway is owned by the Parks Department. The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating.
The Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is involved in the investigation and Mr. Hikind said the police promised to increase their presence in the neighborhood.
“The fact that this most recent attack came on the heels of the 73rd anniversary of Kristalnacht may or may not be a coincidence,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in a statement in response the episode in Brooklyn. “Either way, this kind of hateful act has no place in the freest city in the freest country in the world.”
Separately, the police said Friday that they had arrested a man accused of scrawling swastikas in five incidents last week in Jackson Heights, Queens. The man, Franco Rodriguez, 40, spray painted the symbols on the doors of several local libraries and a Catholic church, the police said.
Front page Daily News story.
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