CEDARHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Swastikas have been found scrawled across a Five Towns, Long Island neighborhood – right outside of homes.
As CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported, residents of Cedarhurst were alarmed and horrified as they woke up Tuesday morning to discover the symbols of hate.
A photo captured one of the swastikas scrawled in chalk on Oxford Road. It was later removed, but neighbors said children saw it on the sidewalk Tuesday morning on their way to school and told their parents, who then called police.
“It was very upsetting to see this,” said a man who asked not to be identified.
The man was one of the targets, with a swastika scrawled just feet away from his doorstep in the predominantly Jewish section of the town.
“My wife’s parents were the only survivors of a very large family from the Holocaust,” he said. “Even though it was a long time ago, it’s very real to us.”
Another swastika was spotted shortly afterward on the same street less than two blocks away. Cameras captured Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) helping to scrub it off the sidewalk with soap and water.
He rushed to the scene as soon as he heard about the images.
“I was horrified,” Kaminsky said. “It’s a terrible thing when someone tries to intimidate a community and publicly uses a symbol that’s synonymous with fear and anti-Semitism and hatred.”
Nassau County police late Tuesday were scouring through surveillance video from nearby homes, trying to catch the culprits who left pieces of their chalk behind.
Kaminsky said he has been talking to investigators, and told CBS2 he believes kids could be responsible.
“We need to show them right away that this is serious, that we won’t stand for it, and that we need to come together as a community,” he said.
After the recent crimes, the Rockaway Nassau Safety Patrol is also getting involved, stepping up security in the area throughout the day and night.
“We don’t want another incident,” Said Sholem Klein of the patrol. “The community is very concerned. We do not want another incident.”
The victim said whoever was behind the hateful graffiti will need “some education in tolerance.”
The neighborhood wants whoever did it to be caught and held accountable.