Man wanted for scrawling antisemitic symbols across 2 neighborhoods Queens
FOREST HILLS, Queens (WABC) — Police in Queens are searching for a man they say scrawled antisemitic symbols in two neighborhoods, hitting a total of six locations since Monday.
It comes as the Anti-Defamation League released a report on Thursday showing a 39% spike in antisemitic hate crimes in New York state in 2022, compared to 2021.
“It’s a new record for New York,” said Scott Richman, ADL New York/New Jersey Regional Director. “We’ve never seen so many incidents in the 43 years that we’ve been keeping track of such data.”
Antisemitic incidents in New York, already on the rise in the last decade, were high in 2021 but went up to 580 in 2022, according to the Anti-Defamation League, and assaults, specifically, rose to an alarming 72.
“If we look at the state where more assaults than any other state took place, we’re talking about New York again,” Richman said. “Most of those took place in New York City, specifically in Brooklyn.”
But it’s in Queens Thursday night where the NYPD is investigating six incidents of antisemitic vandalism.
They believe a man, seen on surveillance video in multiple locations, has been scrawling symbols of hate in Forest Hills and Rego Park in the last week, outside apartment buildings like one on Queens Boulevard. Symbols have even been scrawled outside the 112th Precinct stationhouse and a synagogue.
RELATED | Antisemitic incidents in the US are at the highest level recorded
The latest in this string of incidents was outside another apartment building, this one in Rego Park. Police believe the same man scrawled another hate symbol about an hour and a half after targeting the synagogue Wednesday afternoon.
The ADL has been trying to answer the question of why these types of incidents are becoming more common.
“It’s longer-term factors like the rise in social media and the idea of all the hate and misinformation that’s on social media,” Richman said. “The megaphone that this gives to haters, the ability to find others that share their hateful views that was very hard before social media.”
As to what may be behind these incidents in Queens, police would like to answer that by identifying the man seen on surveillance video and find him.
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