NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A vandal was caught on camera scratching out signs of hate on a freshly paved sidewalk in Brooklyn and now, police are trying to find him.
The surveillance video shows the suspect carving out nearly 30 swastikas on Newkirk Avenue in Midwood.READ MORE: New Video: Off-Duty NYPD Officer Bashed With Wooden Stick In Bronx Beating
Some of the images are counter-clockwise, but all of them are on the sidewalk in front of a residential building under construction.
The vandal — with a flashlight in his mouth and a tool in his hand — drew the swastikas Saturday morning around midnight on a street that’s ethnically diverse.
“I think it’s a symbol of hate and disrespectfulness,” Midwood resident Zeeshan Ali said.
As CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported, the suspect clearly took pride in his handiwork. Exclusive surveillance video shows him snapping pictures of the hateful symbols and also drawing what appears to be a social media handle.
The property owners say the vandal might’ve had an accomplice on the look-out because when the vandal is finished, someone else comes back andrips off what was a surveillance camera in front of the building. All that’s left now is blue tape.READ MORE: NYC Primary: New Yorkers Head To Polls To Pick Next Mayor, Candidates Make Last-Minute Campaign Push
What the vandal might not have noticed is the camera that caught him in the act. He spent nearly a half an hour at the scene.
“This guy’s on a mission,” state Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-48) said. “He wants to make a statement and he does.”
Hikind says crews had just poured fresh concrete that day, making many wonder if the man in the video lives in the area and knew it might be easy to make the images stick.
“All of the blocks have to be removed at a cost of five or six thousand dollars,” Hikind said.
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating, as the Anti-Defamation League has condemned the vandalism.MORE NEWS: Connecticut Becomes 19th State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana
The ADL says in total there were 63 anti-Semitic incidents in Brooklyn last year, and 22 in the early part of this year.