A swastika and some writing in Spanish were found spray-painted on a large rock in Springs last week, raising community concern of a hate crime, though police believe it was an isolated incident that was the work of juveniles.
East Hampton Town Police Capt. Chris Anderson said the graffiti were found on a rock at the corner of Pembroke and Underwood Avenues sometime before the afternoon of Oct. 30. Depending on how you look at it, he said, it could be a correctly drawn swastika. The words in Spanish do not appear to make sense or to be connected to a person or gang.
“There is no indication that this is gang-related,” Captain Anderson said. “It appears to be an isolated incident and is quite possibly juvenile-related.” The incident remains under investigation.
Rabbi Joshua Franklin and Cantor-Rabbi Debra Stein of the Jewish Center of the Hamptons and Rabbi Leibel Baumgarten of Chabad of the Hamptons issued a joint statement this week, noting that town police had been quick to clean up “the marker of hatred.”
“We should add that our town and village police go above and beyond in keeping synagogues safe in the Hamptons. But while the image was erased, the hatred behind it was not. Whether this was a hate-filled act of Halloween troublemaking, or something more serious, we don’t yet know. But our history teaches us just how quickly one small act of hatred can escalate into violence,” they said, adding, “No form of bigotry belongs here in the Hamptons. We hope that you will join in condemning all acts of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and xenophobia in our town.”