Police are searching for a suspect caught on camera etching dozens of swastikas into freshly poured cement outside an apartment building under construction in Brooklyn, New York.
The New York Daily News published security footage taken early Saturday morning that shows a dark-haired male wearing shorts, sneakers and a hooded sweatshirt holding a small flashlight in his mouth.
The vandal repeatedly carved the hate symbol into the new sidewalk in front of the building at 242 Newkirk Avenue in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind told the Daily News that the property owners, who are Jewish, discovered the damage Monday morning and notified the police.
“This guy is on camera as clear as can be,” Hikind said. “A swastika is the ultimate symbol of hate. What would motivate somebody to do that?”
The building is located in a diverse neighborhood which is home to many people of Jewish heritage. Public records list the property owner as Solomon Schwimmer.
NBC New York spoke to longtime resident Anat Bajtel, who expressed her dismay.
“I was shocked. That’s disgusting. My mother-in-law is a Holocaust survivor and seeing something like that is unbelievable.”
Hikind told NBC that “for anyone in the Jewish community, in particular Holocaust survivors, when you see that Nazi emblem…the pain that it causes…is beyond description,” adding,
“We’re living in a society where there’s so much hate in people’s hearts. Some people just hold it in their hearts, some people say it at the dining room table and some people actually come out and draw swastikas.”
According to police, nearly 30 swastikas were drawn into the cement, and the incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime by the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force. Police believe the vandal is a teenager, and are asking the public’s help in hopes that someone may recognize him from the security video.
Feature photo: YouTube screenshot