NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In the midst of Chanukah celebrations, one Long Island community has been left wondering who would intentionally target a menorah and smash it to pieces?
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported exclusively, 80-year-old Burton Radish was left to pick up the jagged pieces of his splintered menorah.
“It was smashed right over there,” said Radish. “Somebody stepped on it, just crushed the whole thing.”
Police said the Plainview widower was on his way to synagogue when he spotted the vandalized homemade treasure toppled and trashed on his front lawn.
“Not good at all; very sad, angry that someone would do this,” Radish said. “Why would anyone want to do this? I mean they don’t break up other decorations from other religious symbols.”
Across the street, a creche lays untouched.
“This is being investigated as a hate crime by the Second Squad as well as bias crime coordinator here in Nassau County. We are taking this case very seriously,” said Nassau County Police Inspector Kenneth Lack.
Sadly, Radish said this isn’t the first time his menorah has been targeted.
While sitting Shiva for his late wife in December of 2011, unknown suspects dragged his 5-foot-tall menorah into Gerhard Road. It too was destroyed, in that instance by passing cars.
“This is the second time this has happened,” he said. “The first time I was very, very, very angry. And now I feel really discouraged.”
After Radish’s synagogue learned from their rabbi about the crime, the artist who fashioned the first two menorahs drove over with another to donate, McLogan reported.
If it is determined the suspects were motivated by religious bigotry, the case will be pursed as a bias felony, which is punishable by up to four years in prison, McLogan reported.
Anyone who may have witnessed the crime on Gerhard Road in Plainview over the weekend is urged to call police.
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