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Summit Police Investigate Swastika Graffiti on Resident's Property

The symbol was drawn on garage wall on Passaic Avenue, according to police, who say no evidence has surfaced that would qualify the act as a hate crime.

A swastika was found on the side of a Passaic Avenue resident’s detached garage on Dec. 16 around 10:30 p.m. in an incident which is currently being investigated as an act of graffiti and criminal mischief by Summit Police.

Sgt. Peter Frank said the swastika measured about 1 ½ feet by 1 ½ feet, and was drawn in thin black lines on the rear of the detached garage, facing the resident’s property, meaning the person who drew the swastika was on the resident’s actual property. He said the couple living there has young children and the family is part Jewish, part Christian.

“It’s not like it was done just on the street on the garage front door. It was actually on the rear of the garage on the actual property,” Frank said. “At this point, we’re investigating it as an incident of graffiti. However, if other evidence turns up that this was done as a hate crime, we’ll pursue that fully. But at this time, we have no leads.”

Frank said without further evidence, there is no way to classify this as a hate crime. 

“We’re not sure if it was done by someone who knows them, we’re not sure if it was done as an act of graffiti — someone being stupid, a kid — or if it was something done as what we consider a bias crime,” Frank explained.

Frank said one of the residents noticed the graffiti when walking past the garage on Dec. 16. However, the exact day and time that this incident occurred is unknown at this time.

Any residents with information about this incident may contact Sgt. Frank or Detective Christopher Madina at (908) 273-0051.

MMP December 25, 2012 at 12:09 AM
This is not an act of graffiti nor an action by a bored teenager. This is obviously a hate crime and an act of anti-semitism. The reporter should be ashamed of herself for reporting this as anything less and should be put on "journalistic probation" for careless and unprofessional writing. It is I fathomable how in this day and age anyone can view that hateful symbol as anything other than what it is universally known for. The town of Summit should rally behind the victims of this crime instead of brushing it under the rug. Caitlin, visit your public library and get yourself educated before writing another article!
J Richter December 25, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I agree with J. Lagache, this "vandalism" seems quite personally directed and extremely unpleasant. I hope Summit police are taking this as seriously.
Nicole Bitette December 27, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Hi MMP, I'm sorry you feel this way about the article. However, Caitlin reached out to the police department for information on this incident and much of the information you are referring to is directly quoted from Sgt. Peter Frank. All of the information about this incident currently not being classified as a hate crime was from the police department. Caitlin is only reporting on what she was told by police.
Nicole Bitette December 27, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Hi all, Here is a statement from the family who lives at this residence.. http://summit.patch.com/articles/summit-family-responds-to-swastika-graffiti-through-spokesman
ABC January 07, 2013 at 10:18 PM
I am absolutely flabbergasted that this has not been taken up by government officials! I live in NYC and and sure that Mayor Bloomberg would not have taken this lightly. Where is the Summit Mayor? Could she be that busy that she has no time for take on an egregious hate crime that can affect way more people than this family? And what is this teaching the children? It's ok to walk on someone's property and draw whatever you want, including hateful, evil symbols? Hmmm, I'd say community outrage is lacking in Summit!

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