HOWELL, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Anti-Semitic graffiti has been spotted again in another park in Ocean County, New Jersey – in the second instance in a week.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, Howell mother Heather Lisi says she enjoys bringing her kids to Echo Lake Park – not only because it is the perfect fishing spot, but because it is usually peaceful.
But this week, she saw swastikas spraypainted in the area.
“It was very upsetting, because I teach the kids that you love everyone,” Lisi said.
The graffiti was discovered Monday on buildings and tables, where CBS2 is told Jewish families often gather.
“It’s really setting bad example, and I have to explain it to my children, and that’s sad,” Lisi said.
Every single picnic table in Echo Lake Park was spray painted by the township to cover up the hateful symbol.
“I’m happy that Howell authorities jumped right on it. They’ve shown that they’re very serious about it and they won’t tolerate it. But again, it was probably teenagers or drunken people who may have been hanging out there,” said Albert Akerman, deputy mayor of neighboring Lakewood Township.
Akerman said anti-Semitic graffiti has been a problem in the area.
Last week, there was an incident off Second Street at the yeshiva playground just a block away from the police station.
Two former students showed CBS2’s Baker where the words “hail Hitler” and swastikas were drawn.
“Lakewood has a huge population of Orthodox Jews. It’s pretty known throughout the county that this would be a place where they could easily been seen or targeted,” said Lakewood police Lt. Greg Staffordsmith.
The Anti-Defamation League found that New Jersey experienced a 28 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents across the state in 2015, including 23 in Ocean County.
“These are attacks on the entire community. It’s important for members of the community – the entire community — to speak with one voice and condemn these despicable acts of hate and bigotry,” said Joshua Cohen of the ADL.
The same school in Lakewood was targeted in July. Police said there is no evidence to connect the Howell incident to Lakewood.
Lakewood police are examining evidence that they hope will lead to an arrest.